We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Past News

Past News

Bigas Luna Film Analysis Workshop

(16 Nov 2020) » More about Bigas Luna Film Analysis Workshop

Dr Niveen Kassem - New publication 'Cultural trauma and its impact on the Iraqi Assyrian experience of identity'

(9 Nov 2020) » More about Dr Niveen Kassem - New publication 'Cultural trauma and its impact on the Iraqi Assyrian experience of identity'

Professor Daniel Newman - new book 'The Sultan's Feast'

(9 Nov 2020) » More about Professor Daniel Newman - new book 'The Sultan's Feast'

Professor Richard Scholar - publication of new book

(17 Oct 2020) » More about Professor Richard Scholar - publication of new book

Virtual book launch: Bigas Luna (June 4th 19:30 CET)

(29 May 2020) » More about Virtual book launch: Bigas Luna (June 4th 19:30 CET)

Dr Bingham Zheng awarded the Honorary Fellowship by Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL)

(12 Mar 2020) » More about Dr Bingham Zheng awarded the Honorary Fellowship by Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL)

Dr Binghan Zheng to deliver Threlford Lecture at CIOL Annual Conference

(6 Mar 2020) » More about Dr Binghan Zheng to deliver Threlford Lecture at CIOL Annual Conference

New Publication: Science of the Child in Late Imperial and Early Soviet Russia - Andy Byford

(3 Mar 2020) » More about New Publication: Science of the Child in Late Imperial and Early Soviet Russia - Andy Byford

The Bigas Luna Tribute announces new events in New York this spring

(27 Feb 2020) » More about The Bigas Luna Tribute announces new events in New York this spring

London Book Fair Panel, Olympia, London

(18 Feb 2020) » More about London Book Fair Panel, Olympia, London

Adam Talib to speak at Harvard Workshop on Arabic literary production in the Ottoman period

(7 Feb 2020) » More about Adam Talib to speak at Harvard Workshop on Arabic literary production in the Ottoman period

Adam Talib to speak at New Directions in World Literature at St Andrews

(7 Feb 2020) » More about Adam Talib to speak at New Directions in World Literature at St Andrews

Podcast interview with Adam Talib

(7 Feb 2020) » More about Podcast interview with Adam Talib

New Publication: Brand China in the Media. Transformation of Identities

(4 Feb 2020) » More about New Publication: Brand China in the Media. Transformation of Identities

New Publication: Dr Dominique Carlini Versini

(31 Jan 2020) » More about New Publication: Dr Dominique Carlini Versini

Professor Daniel Newman accepts Vice-President position

(10 Dec 2019) » More about Professor Daniel Newman accepts Vice-President position

Professor Daniel Newman co-organised banquet in Doha, Qatar

(10 Dec 2019) » More about Professor Daniel Newman co-organised banquet in Doha, Qatar

New Publication: Dr Yael Almog 'Secularism and Hermeneutics'

Yael's book is available on the publishers website:


(4 Dec 2019) » More about New Publication: Dr Yael Almog 'Secularism and Hermeneutics'

Public Lecture to be given by Zurbarán Fellow: Dr Luis Vives-Ferrándiz Sánchez

(11 Oct 2019) » More about Public Lecture to be given by Zurbarán Fellow: Dr Luis Vives-Ferrándiz Sánchez

New Appointment in Japanese Studies at Durham University

The School of Modern Languages is pleased to welcome Dr Hansun Hsiung, who will be joining Japanese Studies from September 2019.

Dr Hsiung joins us from the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, and his research combines methods from literature and media studies to untangle the cultural, economic, and technological infrastructures of knowledge circulation between Japan and Western Europe from ca. 1750-1900.

(21 Aug 2019)

New Appointments in German Studies at Durham University

The School of Modern Languages is pleased to welcome Dr Yael Almog and Dr Alexis Radisoglou, who will be joining German Studies from September 2019.

Dr Almog joins us from the Goethe University in Frankfurt, and her research focuses on the interdependence of literary theory, literary production, and theology.

Dr Radisoglou joins us from Lincoln College, Oxford University and his research focuses on 20th-century and contemporary literature and culture of the Germanspeaking world, with a particular focus on comparative, transcultural, and interdisciplinary forms of enquiry.

(21 Aug 2019)

New Appointments in Hispanic Studies at Durham University

The School of Modern Languages is pleased to welcome Dr Laura Leon Llerena and Dr Axel Perez Trujillo, who will be joining Hispanic Studies from September 2019, and Professor Rosi Song, who will join Hispanic Studies from December 2019.

Dr Leon Llerena joins us from Northwestern University in the USA, and her research focuses on the circulation in America and Europe of knowledge produced by and about indigenous peoples from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

Dr Perez Trujillo joined the School in 2018 from the University of Alberta and his research focuses on the analysis of Latin American Literature from an environmental perspective, drawing from both ecocriticism and digital humanities.

Professor Rosi Song joins the School from Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania and her research interests include the legacy of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the subsequent dictatorship of Francisco Franco (1939-1975); visual and popular culture production as it intersects with structures of power, thus anticipating many of the cultural and political debates currently taking place in the Iberian Peninsula; exploring the visual component of food narratives that are quickly becoming part of public culture as a filmic language to communicate diversity.

(21 Aug 2019)

New Publication: Dr Alexander Burdumy 'German Reading Skills for Academic Purposes'

Further information on the book can be found on the publishers website below:

(9 Aug 2019)

CALL FOR PAPERS - 2020 Modern Languages Conference 'Where are We Now?'

We invite proposals for papers on the following specific subtopics:

  • Cognitive Literary Studies
  • The Edges of the Nineteenth-Century Page
  • Imagining the Anthropocene: Ecology and Energy in Art, Literature and Film
  • Interlingual Translation and Beyond
  • Is Literary Theory Secular?
  • The Mobile Image: Circulation, Logistics, Infrastructure • Narrating Contemporary Europe • Post-Global Aesthetics
  • Transnational Cinemas: Openings and Challenges
  • A Transnational Curriculum for Modern Languages
  • Where (and When) is the Nonhuman in Modern Languages?

Please provide an abstract of maximum 250 words. Please indicate the topic your proposed paper addresses at the top of the page. Please upload proposals at the following link by 20 September 2019:

(22 Jul 2019)

Tina Kover (O’Donnell) wins 2019 Albertine Prize

MLaC graduate Tina Kover is winner of the 2019 Albertine Prize for her translation of Négar Djavadi’s novel, Disoriental.

(14 Jun 2019)

New Publication: Dr Francesco Venturi 'Self-Commentary in Early Modern European Literature, 1400-1700'

Dr Francesco Venturi is an Honorary Fellow with the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. His latest publication includes various contributions by colleagues in the School. Further information on the book can be found on the publishers website below:


(4 Jun 2019)

Tina Kover’s translation of A Summer with Montaigne by Antoine Compagnon has been released by Europa Editions

Michel de Montaigne embodies the Humanist ideal. Curious, measured, contemplative yet not unworldly, witty, free of prejudice, and urbane. But what does Montaigne have to tell us about how to think and live today? In forty short, erudite and lively chapters written over a single summer, Antoine Compagnon seeks answers to that question. 

In A Summer with Montaigne, Compagnon invites his readers to join him as he strolls through Montaigne’s key contributions to our understanding of what is good and worthwhile in life. This engaging book, then, serves as both an introduction to Montaigne for readers unfamiliar with his work and a refresher for those who are already acquainted with his unique brilliance, vitality, and timeliness. Montaigne’s Essays deal with themes that remain relevant today, from the problems posed by religion, war, power and friendship to the absurdity of our fixations and peccadillos. As accompanies readers through the Essays, Compagnon never pontificates and is never austere, rather he approaches Montaigne with a sense of humour, admiration, and joy.

For more information or to order, please visit

(21 May 2019)

Research Events Commemorating the Centenary of the Birth of Primo Levi

A series of events have been organised at Durham University to commemorate the centenary of the birth of Primo Levi.

For further information, please contact the organizers Dr Guido Furci ( and Dr Cecilia Piantanida (

(2 May 2019)

Chekhov’s short stories performed by the 2nd year students of the Russian department

Click here to see the performance.


(28 Mar 2019)

The Bigas Luna Tribute announces new events in Manchester 28-31 March 2019

The Bigas Luna Tribute has teamed up with HOME Manchester and the Instituto Cervantes for a new series of events as part of the 25th ¡Viva! Spanish and Latin American Festival, also coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the release of Bigas Luna’s film La teta y la luna.

Over a period of four days and in two different venues, the Bigas Luna Tribute Manchester will include four film screenings, two receptions and an exhibition. The exhibition will remain open for the duration of the festival, until April 13th.

The exhibition, curated by Betty Bigas (multidisciplinary artist and daughter of Bigas Luna) and Prof. Santiago Fouz Hernández (Durham University), showcases some of Bigas Luna’s controversial video artwork, including the famous short Necklace of Flies and the five- piece video installation ‘Barbaric Comedies’, which was inspired by the well-known work of Spanish dramatist Valle-Inclán.

Exhibition preview: 28 March, 6.30pm at the Instituto Cervantes
(326-330 Deansgate Campfield, Avenue Arcade, Manchester M3 4FN).
This event includes a drinks reception, a short tour of the exhibition and the first UK screening of the documentary BigasxBigas (2017), introduced by co-director Santiago Garrido Rúa, who will also lead a Q&A session at the end. Tickets for this free event can be reserved here. Exhibition notes can be accessed here.

The internationally famous ‘Iberian Portraits’ trilogy of films, including Jamón, jamón (1992), the film that launched the careers of Academy Award winners Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz, will be screened at HOME Manchester
(2, Tony Wilson Place, M15 4FN) as follows:

- 29 March 6.50pm: Jamón, jamón (1992) + introduction by Prof Santiago Fouz and followed by drinks reception in the Event space at HOME (entry and first drink included with film ticket). Tickets.

- 30 March 5.50pm: Huevos de oro (1993) + introduction by Prof Santiago Fouz. Tickets.

- 31 March 5.40pm: La teta y la luna (1994) + introduction by Dr Abigail Loxham (University of Liverpool) + discussion with Dr Loxham and Prof Fouz. Tickets.

The Bigas Luna Tribute is a series of international events organised by the filmmaker’s daughter, Betty Bigas, and Bigas Luna specialist Santiago Fouz Hernández that aims to disseminate as widely as possible the important work of the late Spanish artist and filmmaker. Starting in San Francisco in 2015, it has already visited 11 cities in six different countries. It has collaborated with four festivals and 19 venues with a total of 60 film screenings to date, including sold-out events in San Francisco, Barcelona, Sydney and San José. Participating venues have included the Roxy Theater, the Mexican Cineteca Nacional or the National Centre of Film Production in Costa Rica. It has attracted coverage in national newspapers of Spain (El país), Costa Rica (La nación), UK (The Guardian The Guide) and Australia (The Age), where it was featured as the cover of the Arts and Entertainment Guide across the Fairfax network. In Costa Rica, the Bigas Luna Tribute was declared an event of cultural interest by the government.

The Bigas Luna Tribute Manchester is sponsored by Durham University, HOME Manchester, the Instituto Cervantes, the ¡Viva! Film Festival and its sponsors (BFI, Film Hub North, The National Lottery, Cruzcampo beer, Acción cultural española and the Spanish Embassy in the UK). For more information about this and previous events, please visit or email

Downloads: Bigas Luna Tribute flyer, poster; ¡Viva! brochure. |Twitter @bigaslunahomage |Instagram bigaslunatribute

(25 Feb 2019)

CALL FOR PAPERS: Canons and Repertoires: Constructing the Visual Arts in the Hispanic World Conference

Further Information

Specialists of Spanish arts, artistic communication and exchange, as well as experts of other regions are invited to discuss the role and definition of Spain in their own disciplines. Presentations may be delivered in English or Spanish. Please send paper titles and abstracts of no more than 250 words, together with a CV and 150-word biography, to Dr Edward Payne by 31 March 2019.

(18 Feb 2019)

Laura Campbell helps to uncover new medieval French manuscript fragments containing the story of Merlin

Click here for the article

(31 Jan 2019)

New Publication: Alexandre Burin 'Maurice de Guérin's Lettres à Barbey d'Aurevilly'

Établissement des textes, postface, notes et bibliographie par Alexandre Burin et Pascal Noir

Ancrées dans une episteme romantique, les Lettres à Barbey d'Aurevilly de Maurice de Guérin renseignent sur le poète mourant et ses angoisses obsessionnelles vécues au plus secret du Moi.

Ces lettres, par leur forme et leur contenu, se présentent comme un ancrage et un relais à la composition de l'oeuvre qui s'écrit dans le même mouvement. Guérin, poète de l'infini et malade d'idéal, y dévoile un projet poétique qu'il ne pourra jamais atteindre.

Cette édition comprend aussi une longue préface et une annexe composées par Barbey d'Aurevilly, fidèle ami et défenseur de Guérin.

(18 Jan 2019)

Tina Kover (O’Donnell) is a finalist for the PEN Translation Prize

MLaC graduate Tina Kover is a finalist for the prestigious PEN Translation Prize for her translation of Négar Djavadi’s novel, Disoriental.


(12 Dec 2018)

Dr Abir Hamdar’s Play Performs in South Lebanon

A special performance of Dr Abir Hamdar’s play Wasafuli al-Sabr [I am Waiting for You], directed by Lina Abyad, took place on 1 December in Nabatiyeh, in the South of Lebanon. The performance was hosted by the Nabih Berri Government University Hospital. Two additional performances took place in the capital, Beirut on 2 December, in Sanayeh House.

Wasafuli al-Sabr Poster

(4 Dec 2018)

New edited collection by Professor Carlo Caruso - The Life of Texts: evidence in textual production, transmission and reception

New edited collection by Professor Carlo Caruso is now available. The Life of Texts: evidence in textual production, transmission and reception offers critical approaches to such authors and texts as Homer, the Bible, The Thousand and One Nights, Dante, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Eliot, but also Leonardo da Vinci's manuscripts uniquely combining word and image. Contributions come from several Durham scholars including Dr Annalisa Cipollone, Professor John O'Brien, Professor Julian Horton, as well as IAS former Director and now Princeton Professor of Classics, Barbara Graziosi and former IAS 2015/16 Evidence Fellow, Professor Carlo Vecce. 

Additional information is available here

Image courtesy of Bloomsbury Academic, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.  

(29 Nov 2018)

Conference support awarded by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation has generously offered support for the forthcoming conference ' Modern Japan in the Comparative Imagination: Past, Present and Future'. The conference is being organised by Dr Adam Bronson [History] and Dr Fusako Innami [Modern Languages] and will take place in May 2019.

(15 Nov 2018)

MLAC Alumni return to Durham to inspire undergraduate and sixth-form students

On Wednesday, 7th November 2018 the fourth Back to the Future event took place, where five MLAC alumni returned to Durham to talk to undergraduates and sixth formers from local schools and colleges about their careers following the completion of their Modern Languages degree. It was an insightful and inspirational event which attendees found very useful, it made them realise just how many opportunities are open to linguists.

MADELEINE SHAW-ROBERTS: Maddy graduated in 2016. She has been working for almost a year and a half as an online Content Editor for Classic FM, which involves anything from filming videos with world-class pianists, to writing all-too-realistic articles about how Brexit is threatening the future of the U.K. classical music industry. She sometimes uses Italian, for interviewing classical music experts for podcasts and the occasional press trip to Italy.

JOSEPH TERRY: Joe graduated in 2013. He went on to do a Master’s in Interpreting and Translating at the University of Bath. Since then, he has worked as a freelance translator, interpreter and occasional reporter all over Europe, mainly in the world of football but also in cinema and the public-service sector. He recently joined one of UEFA’s partner companies, Blue Whale Global Media, which provides translation services for European football .

CLAIRE READ: Claire graduated in 2011. Having studied Arabic, French and Spanish, she completed a master's in journalism at City University, London and moved to Egypt. There, she joined BBC Arabic and lived in Cairo until late 2015, working as a news producer for the BBC's Arabic language television and radio services as well as reporting for the English language World Service radio and television. She is now based in London in the BBC's World Affairs Unit, as a defence and security producer.

HARRIET LORD: Harriet graduated in 2013. She is currently Head of Europe in the corporate intelligence department at S-RM in London. The team conducts research into companies and individuals internationally, in-vestigating issues including bribery and corruption, money laundering, fraud and organised crime. Harriet travels within Europe regularly on cases and has just spent three months in Cape Town, where some of the team is based. 

ISOBELLE BOLTT: Isobelle graduated in 2013, with a degree in French and History of Art . After graduation, she moved to Brittany and tried her hand at many different jobs before moving back to London in 2015 to work as an Account Manager at leadership consultancy YSC. Since 2017, she has worked as a Gallery Liaison for Artsy, an online platform for collecting and discovering art, employing her French skills to manage relationships with 30 art galleries based in France.employing her French skills to manage relationships with 30 art galleries based in France.

(15 Nov 2018)

MLaC Student of Russian appears on Russian TV News (Channel 1)

Our student Alex Haigh, who is spending his year abroad in the Kostroma Region in Russia, has appeared on Russian national TV on Wednesday 14th November 2018. Titled “Russian at Heart”, the story about Alex, a young Englishman, who came to Kostroma to learn Russian and teach English is extremely sympathetic. The reportage was over 3 minutes long and was given a nationwide coverage.

(15 Nov 2018)

Photographic Exhibition Honouring the Legacy of Prof Andrea Noble Opens in Mexico City

The prestigious Centro de la Imagen in central Mexico City has inaugurated a photographic exhibition heavily informed by the work of late Durham Professor Andrea Noble (School of Modern Languages and Cultures). 

The exhibition, entitled ‘Visualidades en conflicto’ ('Visualities in Conflict’), is the culmination of Andrea’s project 'Cold War Camera’ and one of the outcomes of the AHRC-funded network grant ‘Photography and the Transnational Politics of Affect’. The project explores the emotional power of photography to prompt political action and it also included a series of preparatory workshops with academics and photographers, led by Professor Noble. 

'Visualities in Conflict' showcases new work by young photographers Zahara Gómez (Spain/Argentina, 1983), Juan Orrantia (Colombia, 1975) and Mauricio Palos (Mexico, 1981) commissioned especially for this project. Their work is the result of archival research, workshops and fieldwork including interviews in Argentina, Guatemala, Colombia and Mexico between 2017 and 2018. This new work is shown alongside a project by Mexican photographer Rodrigo Morales, focusing on movements of emancipation and resistance against Latin American dictatorships. 

The exhibition opened on October 25th and will be on until the end of January 2019. The exhibition and the accompanying academic Symposium in honour of Andrea Noble that took place in September, are sponsored by the AHRC, Santander, Durham University, the Centro de la Imagen and Mexico government’s Secretariat of Culture. 

For more information, including opening times, please visit the Centro de la Imagen website here

(14 Nov 2018)

New Publication: Professor Mike Gonzalez [Hispanic Studies] 'The Ebb of the Pink Tide: The Decline of the Left in Latin America'

Following the election of Hugo Chavez to the Venezuelan presidency, and the Cochabamba water wars, Latin American politics were radicalised and their governments populated with former activists and trade union leaders. In this book, renowned Latin Americanist Mike Gonzalez explores the course of the Left in Latin American politics.

In the last few years, Latin America’s Left have suffered many setbacks and reactionary challenges, which has led many to wonder if the ‘Pink Tide’ is on the wane. Gonzalez argues that whilst left-wing developments have been widely celebrated, less has been written to address the problems that have arisen. Through examination of the successes and failings of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Venezuela, Gonzalez is able to identify weaknesses and strengths and suggest possible future pathways for the Left in nations across Latin America.

Providing a critical but sympathetic analysis of the records of the left governments across the continent, Gonzalez offers a refreshing reflection on the prospects and future of Latin American politics, asking whether Chavez’s vision of twenty-first century socialism may ever be realised. Further details available here.

(6 Nov 2018)

MLAC graduate’s translation shortlisted for the 2018 National Book Award

MLaC graduate Tina Kover has been shortlisted for the The 2018 National Book Awards for her translation of Négar Djavadi’s novel, Disoriental.

Read Tina Kover’s interview with Literary Hub here.

(11 Oct 2018)

Ribera: Art of Violence Exhibition

Dulwich Picture Galley: 26th September 2018 - 27th January 2019

Ribera is one of the titans of Spanish Baroque art. Born in Valencia, Spain, Ribera emigrated to Italy as a young artist in 1606. He spent most of his career in Naples, where he influenced many artists including Salvator Rosa and Luca Giordano. He is often regarded as the heir to Caravaggio for his dramatic use of light and shadow, and his practice of painting directly from the live model.

Bringing together loans from seven different countries, this ground-breaking exhibition explores, for the first time, an aspect of Ribera’s art for which he was renowned: violent depictions of saints and figures being flayed and flogged. Ribera’s images of pain can be shocking, and he has historically been labelled as sadistic and violent. Challenging this long-standing interpretation, this show reveals the complex artistic, religious and cultural discourses underpinning the artist’s violent imagery in his paintings, prints and drawings.

Ribera: Art of Violence is curated by Dr Edward Payne, Assistant Professor (Research): Pemberton Fellowship for the Study of Spanish Art, contributor to the catalogue raisonné of Ribera’s drawings (2016) and author of a PhD thesis on the theme of violence in Ribera’s art (2012), and Dr Xavier Bray, Director, The Wallace Collection, former Chief Curator, Dulwich Picture Gallery and curator of the 2009 exhibition The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600–1700 (National Gallery, London).

For further information, please see here.

(8 Oct 2018)

Visualidades en conflicto: Symposium and Exhibition in Mexico City in Memory of Professor Andrea Noble

The Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City in collaboration with Durham University and Mexico’s Secretariat of Culture announces an exhibition and a symposium to honour the legacy of Andrea Noble (1968-2017), Professor at Durham University until her death in Mexico in May 2017. The two-day Symposium at the Centro de la Imagen will take place on 26-27 September 2018 and it will include presentations by Mexican academics, curators and art critics from the UNAM, the INAH and the Universidad Iberoamericana, as well as scholars from the Universidad Alberto Hurtado (Chile) and CUNY (USA).

The exhibition opens on October 25th at 7PM and it will showcase work by young photographers from Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Spain. The work was produced as part of the AHRC-funded project ‘Fotofría’, led by Professor Noble. The project was designed as a collaboration between academic and cultural institutions dedicated to the preservation and promotion of memory of the conflict in lesser known sites of Cold War. Additional funding was provided by Santander.


More information here.

(2 Oct 2018)

Dr Hernández Adrián, International visiting Scholar in Colombia

Francisco-J. Hernández Adrián has been invited to participate as an international visiting scholar in the MA in Visual Culture Practice and Research (Maestría en Creación y Estudios Audiovisuales), Facultad de Comunicaciones, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia. Adrián has designed and delivered an intensive research module on Caribbean and Latin American cinemas and environments in Global South contexts on 12-15 September 2018: EL ANÁLISIS CULTURAL DE LOS ESPACIOS EN EL CINE LATINOAMERICANO RECIENTE: DESDE EL CARIBE AL SUR GLOBAL. This activity has been made possible by funding from HEFCE GCRF, AHRC OWRI and Durham University.


(25 Sep 2018)

The Bigas Luna Tribute San José Declared Event of National Cultural Interest

The tenth Bigas Luna Tribute, that launched in San José, Costa Rica, this week has been officially recognised by the Costa Rican government as event of national cultural interest. The certificate, signed by the President of the Republic and the Culture and Sports Minister, can be consulted here.

(22 Aug 2018) » More about The Bigas Luna Tribute San José Declared Event of National Cultural Interest

Book launch - The Beauty of the Death Cap by Prof Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze

The Beauty of the Death Cap is the English translation of award-winning debut novel La logique de l'amanite, originally published in France by Grasset in 2015. It will be published in the UK by Snuggly Books on 4 September 2018.

(16 Aug 2018)

Abir Hamdar wins Durham University Impact Award

Dr Abir Hamdar, Associate Professor in Arabic Studies, received the Durham University Impact Award in a ceremony that took place in the Lindisfarne Centre on 11 July 2018. A total of 5 awards were made: one per faculty, one for early career candidates and an overall University award. Hamdar’s project was a joint winner of the University Award for her project ‘Performing Cancer in the Middle East’. Read more about Abir’s project here

In addition, Dr Joanna Allan, an early career Leverhulme research fellow in the School, was selected as a finalist for the Early Career Award for her project about human rights and social justice in Western Sahara. Read more about Joanna’s work here

(12 Jul 2018)

Disoriental Translation recommended by the New York Times

MLaC graduate Tina Kover's translation of Disoriental by Négar Djavadi, has been reviewed in the New York Times on 8 June: 

It was also one of their Editors’ Choice recommended books on 14 June:


(27 Jun 2018)

Dr Viktoria Ivleva discusses Catherine the Great of Russia on BBC World Service Radio

Famous for her lovers and satirised for her colourful personal life, Catherine the Great was in many ways one of Russia’s most progressive and moderate rulers, modernising 18th century Russia, improving educational standards and creating a flourishing arts and literature scene. But she also turned Russia into the biggest Empire on earth since the Roman Empire, which included the annexation of Crimea. So how far has her imperial mind set influenced Russia’s modern rulers, like President Putin?

Joining Bridget Kendall to discuss the life and legacy of Catherine II of Russia, is Professor Andrei Zorin, cultural historian and Chair of Russian at the University of Oxford, Simon Dixon, Professor of Russian History at University College London and author of the biography “Catherine the Great”’ and Dr Viktoria Ivleva, who specialises in Catherine’s role as a woman ruler and her use of uniform and costume.

Link to the broadcast here

(20 May 2018)

Adam Talib to lecture in Berlin on new research project

Adam Talib of MLAC will give a lecture on 13 June 2018 at the Freie Universität Berlin's Graduate School of Muslim Cultures and Societies on his current book project. The lecture entitled "Rape and the Reader: Classical Arabic Poetry Comes to Light" will be a provocative re-examination of scholarly methods that erase or overlook the predominance of coercion and violence in Arabic erotic poetry.

(27 Apr 2018)

Tina O'Donnell's translation of Négar Djavadi’s novel, Disoriental now published

Tina Kover (O’Donnell)’s translation of Négar Djavadi’s novel, Disoriental, is coming up with Europa Editions on 17 April (US) and 17 May (UK). 

Here is the link for DISORIENTAL, where to order the book now:

Or, to pre-order from


(23 Apr 2018)

Dr Maura Senatore publishes his latest monograph: 'Germs of Death. The Problem of Genesis in Jacques Derrida'

Mauro Senatore is a British Academy Fellow at Durham University, United Kingdom, and Adjunct Professor of Contemporary French Philosophy at the Instituto de Humanidades, Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile. He is the author and editor of several books, including Performatives After Deconstruction.

Germs of Death. The Problem of Genesis in Jacques Derrida
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-6847-1

An analysis of Derrida’s early work engaging Plato, Hegel, and the life sciences.

Germs of Death explores the idea of genesis, or dissemination, in the early work of Jacques Derrida. Looking at Derrida’s published and unpublished work from “Force and Signification” in 1963 to Glas in 1974, Mauro Senatore traces the development of Derrida’s understanding of genesis both linguistically and biologically, and argues that this topic is an overlooked thread that draws together Derrida’s readings of Plato and Hegel. Demonstrating how Derrida’s analysis liberates the understanding of genesis from Platonic and Hegelian presupposition, Senatore also highlights Derrida’s engagement with the biological thought of his day. Senatore also shows that the implications of Derrida’s insights extend into contemporary ethical and political questions relating to postgenomic conceptions of life.

(26 Mar 2018)

The Bigas Luna Tribute announces four new events in Australia

Durham University announces the next four events of the Bigas Luna Tribute in Australia this April and May. The Australian events are presented by Betty Bigas and Santiago Fouz in collaboration with the Spanish Film Festival of Australia, Palace Cinemas, the Embassy of Spain in Australia, and The University of Melbourne Australian events will include film screenings, panel discussions and special receptions with Spanish guitar music, food and drink inspired by the ‘Iberian Portraits’ trilogy of films (which are also part of the film festival programme).

There are five participating venues: Palace Cinema theatres in Melbourne (ASTOR), Brisbane (CENTRO), Sydney (CENTRAL and NORTON) and Canberra (ELECTRIC). The films selected are: Jamón, jamón (1992)Huevos de oro/Golden Balls (1993), La teta y la luna/The Tit and the Moon (1994) and the posthumous documentary Bigas x Bigas (2017) - Australian premiere. 

Screenings of Jamón, jamón in Melbourne (22 April)Brisbane (29 April) and Sydney (1 May) will be followed by a panel discussion with Professor Santiago Fouz Hernández (Durham) and Professor Alfredo Martínez Expósito (Melbourne) and a drinks and tapas reception with Spanish guitar. The screening of Jamón, jamón in Canberra (22 April) will be followed by a drinks and tapas reception.

In addition to the Bigas Luna Tribute, Prof Fouz-Hernández will give lectures on Bigas Luna at the University of Melbourne on 24 April and at the Instituto Cervantes in Sydney on 2 May.

For more information and full listings, please visit:

Information on Jamón, jamón special events

Details about the Bigas Luna Tribute sessions

Reviews of previous events are available here Mexico City (El País) | Valencia (Levante| Barcelona (Ara) | Newcastle (The Guardian) | San Francisco (SF Gate)

(19 Mar 2018)

Sade translation by Professor Thomas Wynn wins Scott Moncrieff prize

Professor Thomas Wynn has been awarded the prestigious Scott Moncrieff prize for his translation of the Marquis de Sade’s novel The 120 Days of Sodom (Penguin Classics, 2016), produced in collaboration with Dr Will McMorran (Queen Mary, London). Named in honour of the celebrated translator of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, the prize is given to translations into English of full-length French works of literary merit and general interest. It is sponsored by the Institut français du Royaume-Uni. 

In his commendation of the translation, Professor Andrew Hussey declared ‘Without in any way giving in to hyperbole, [we] would say that this translation is a 21st-century monument, changing not only the way in which we view the French 18th century, but providing a guide to the present and future.’ His fellow judge Dr Ian Patterson added: ‘We thought this translation was quite exceptional in its capacity to capture the true voice of this strange and difficult eighteenth-century text the textual and editorial scholarship of the translators, their wonderful handling of the terminology and the diction of the original, along with the fluency of their translation, and the ways in which it creates for the first time for Anglophone readers a properly accurate version of Sade’s text.’

(8 Mar 2018)

Dr Abir Hamdar’s Play Performed for World Cancer Day

A special performance of Dr Abir Hamdar’s play Wasafuli al-Sabr (English Title: I am Waiting for You), directed by Lina Abyad, took place in Beirut on 8 February 2018 to mark World Cancer Day and as the opening event for BBCC-6: Annual Beirut Breast Cancer conference. The performance was hosted by the Naef K. Basile cancer Institute (NKBCI) of the American University of Beirut Medical Centre (AUBMC) and performed at its Saab Medical Library. Over 200 national and international physicians, nurses, medical students and interns, as well as cancer patients and representatives of cancer NGOs, attended and participated in a Q and A session following the performance.


(1 Mar 2018)

Publications by two recent MLAC graduates

MLAC graduates Lucy Sabin and John Gilbert (who graduated in 2016) have had their final-year work on contemporary Spanish Cinema published in an academic journal and a forthcoming encyclopaedia. 

Lucy Sabin’s essay 'All or Nothing: Representing Masculinity in Jamón Jamón (Bigas Luna, 1992) and Mar adentro (Amenábar, 2004)’ has just been published in the latest issue of Film Matters (8.3). It can be accessed here. Lucy is also a contributor to Diabolique Magazine, where she has also published on ‘the female martyrs of Spanish cinema’, the subject of her 2016 dissertation. The piece can be accessed here. 

John Gilbert’s film review of Los lunes al sol/Mondays in the Sun, written for the Durham module ‘Contemporary Spanish Cinema’, will be published as an entry for the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Films, forthcoming in Rowman & Littlefield in May this year. More details here.

(12 Feb 2018)

Winners of the MLAC Year Abroad Photography Competition 2017

Students on their year abroad during 2016-2017 were invited to take part in the MLAC Year Abroad Photography Competition 2017. See the competition winners receiving their prizes on Wednesday 24 January here.

(7 Feb 2018)

Dr Alex Harrington: BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Anna Akhmatova

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the work, ideas and life of the Russian poet whose work was celebrated in C20th both for its quality and for what it represented, written under censorship in the Stalin years. Her best known poem, Requiem, was written after her son was imprisoned partly as a threat to her and, to avoid punishment for creating it, she passed it on to her supporters to be memorised, line by line, rather than written down. She was a problem for the authorities and became significant internationally, as her work came to symbolise resistance to political tyranny and the preservation of pre-Revolutionary liberal values in the Soviet era. The image above is based on 'Portrait of Anna Akhmatova' by N.I. Altman, 1914, Moscow With Katharine Hodgson Professor in Russian at the University of Exeter Alexandra Harrington Reader in Russian Studies at Durham University And Michael Basker Professor of Russian Literature and Dean of Arts at the University of Bristol Producer: Simon Tillotson.

(23 Jan 2018)

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION NOW OPEN - Our Uncommon Ground: Modern Languages and Cultures for the 21st Century

Click here to register for the conference taking place from 16 - 18 Apri, 2018

(15 Jan 2018)

New book by Dr Annalisa Cipollone: Dante. Hell Heaven & Hope: A Journey through Life and the Afterlife with Dante

New book by Dr Annalisa Cipollone: Dante. Hell Heaven & Hope: A Journey through Life and the Afterlife with Dante

(11 Jan 2018)

New monograph by Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze, Claude Chabrol’s Aesthetics of Opacity

New monograph by Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze, Claude Chabrol’s Aesthetics of Opacity (Edinburgh University Press, 2018):

Claude Chabrol's cinema is generally associated with a specific type of psychological thriller, one set in the French provinces and fascinated with murder, incest, fragmented families, unstable spaces and inscrutable female characters. But Chabrol's films are both deceptively accessible and deeply reflexive, and in this innovative reappraisal of his filmography Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze explores the Chabrol who was influenced by Balzac, Magritte and Stanley Kubrick. Bringing to the fore Chabrol’s ‘aesthetic of opacity’, the book deconstructs the apparent clarity and comfort of his chosen genre, encouraging the viewer to reflect on the relationship between illusion and reality, and the status of the film image itself.

(8 Jan 2018)

Fully-funded Doctoral Scholarship in Spanish Art-Historical Studies

The Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art at Durham University is pleased to invite applications for a fully funded doctoral scholarship in Spanish art-historical studies, commencing in the academic year 2018/19. This scholarship has been created thanks to the generous support of CEEH (Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica) in Madrid, and will be preferably devoted to art-historical projects on Spanish art of the Golden Age and/or its legacy in Britain and/or Europe up to the 19th century. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to collaborate with the curators of Spanish art at The Auckland Project in Bishop Auckland, which houses one of the most remarkable collections of Spanish art in the UK. 

The deadline for the application is January 10. Applicants must demonstrate that Spanish art, architecture or visual culture forms the focus of their proposed research topic, and are advised to contact the administration of the Zurbarán Centre ( to discuss research proposals before the application deadline of 10 January. Applicants should have at least a reading knowledge in Spanish, Catalan or Italian. Applicants should apply to Durham University doctoral programme, following the standard process of the Durham Doctoral Studentships (see 

More information at 

(19 Dec 2017)

Translation Prize for Prof P Starkey and Dr A Talib

Two Durham Arabists, Prof P Starkey and Dr A Talib, tied for first prize in the Translation from Arabic into English category at the Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation on Thursday, 14 December 2017 in Doha, Qatar. Prof Paul Starkey won for his translation of "The Shell" by Mustafa Khalifa (Interlink, 2017), while Adam Talib and his co-translator, Katharine Halls, won for their translation of Raja Alem's "The Dove's Necklace" (Duckworth Overlook, 2016).

(19 Dec 2017)

CALL FOR PAPERS: Our Uncommon Ground: Modern Languages and Cultures for the 21st Century

Our Uncommon Ground: Modern Languages and Cultures for the 21st Century highlights the pressing ethical imperatives for the study of Modern Languages and Cultures as a diverse and yet coherent discipline in a world which is increasingly – and acrimoniously – divided. There has never been a more important time to articulate and embrace the values of a discipline equipped to study cultures and their interactions in historical perspective. And yet, Modern Languages continues to struggle with its disciplinary identity; as Michael Worton argued – almost a decade ago – one of the major challenges facing the discipline is a move towards separatism and forms of protectionism, which emerged at the very moment when it is vital that new forms of partnership and collaboration be established. This conference represents an attempt to sketch out the uncommon ground between the many (sub-)disciplines that comprise Modern Languages and Cultures.

As one of the broadest constituencies of its kind in the UK, Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University is responding to calls for wishes to bring together a wide spectrum of activities and interests that cross historical, geographical and methodological boundaries. To achieve this, the School is hosting a major conference designed to encourage participants to reflect on the state of the discipline and to develop new intellectual agendas through the presentation of cutting-edge research in the field.

We welcome proposals for either 90 minute panels (with up to 4 speakers) or 20 minute presentations on any aspect of cutting-edge research in Modern Languages and Cultures. Please send an abstract of up to 250 words to by 15 Feb 2018, together with the following information: name, working title (in the language you will present your paper in), brief abstract of your paper (in English), affiliation and academic status, email address and mailing address with city, postcode and country. For panel proposals, we require additionally the names, affiliation and academic status of all contributors.

Applicants will be informed of acceptance by 28th February.

(18 Dec 2017)

Professor Nicholas Saul awarded C.H. Beck Bursary

Professor Nicholas Saul has just been awarded a four-week C.H. Beck bursary to study Ernst Jünger’s papers and botanical/entonomological specimens in the holdings of the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach, as part of his monograph project Interrogations of Evolutionism in German Literature 1859-2008

(12 Dec 2017)

Adam Talib shortlisted for Saif Ghobash Banipal Literary Translation Prize 2017

Adam Talib's co-translation (with K Halls) of Raja Alem's novel 'The Dove's Necklace' (2016) has been shortlisted for the Saif Ghobash Banipal Literary Translation Prize 2017

(1 Dec 2017)

Annalisa Cipollone's new book on Dante

Dr Annalisa Cipollone has recently published her latest book on Dante.

(30 Nov 2017)

Lectures on 'Philosophy and Cosmology in the Renaissance' by Dr Dario Tessicini at the University of Chieti

Dario Tessicini has been invited to give three public lectures at the Università di Chieti on the theme 'Philosophy and Cosmology in the Renaissance'. These lectures are part of an ongoing collaboration between Italian Studies at Durham and the Università di Chieti ( (28-30 November 2017)

(28 Nov 2017)

UK-Mexico Visiting Chair Mobility Grant awarded to Dr Stefano Cracolici

Dr Stefano, Director of the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art at Durham University, has been awarded a UK-Mexico Visiting Chair Grant (Cátedra Itinerante). This scheme is aimed to increase research collaboration and strengthen relations between HEI’s in Mexico and the United Kingdom. Dr Cracolici will visit four distinguished Mexican institutions: Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA), National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC), and the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY). This exchange is linked to an exhibition to be organised at the Museo Nacional de San Carlos in Mexico City, and linked to Dr Cracolici's Rome in the World project, aiming at charting the global dissemination of Roman artworks during the nineteenth century.

(28 Nov 2017)

Dr Stefano Cracolici gives a guest Lecture at the Bibliotheca Hertziana — Max-Plank-Institute für Kunstgeschichte

Dr Stefano Cracolici, Director of the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art at Durham University, has been invited to give a public lecture at the prestigious Bibliotheca Hertziana — Max-Plank-Institute für Kunstgeschichte in Rome, entitled 'The Overbeck Effect: Nazarene Art and Global Catholic Heritage'. This lecture is part of the Rome in the World project led by Dr Cracolici in collaboration with Durham’s Centre for Catholic Studies, and deals with the hitherto neglected legacy of Nazarene art in England (Ushaw College) as well as in Québec, Spain and Mexico.

(20 Nov 2017)

Zurbarán Centre on Twitter

The Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art is now on Twitter. In just one week it has attracted great interest. Please follow us at

(20 Nov 2017)

Durham University and Albatexas Cinemes announce the Fifth Bigas Luna Tribute event in Valencia this December

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University and Albatexas Cinemes will host the fifth Bigas Luna Tribute event this December in Valencia, Spain. Following the success of similar events in San Francisco, Newcastle, Barcelona and Mexico City since 2015, this new tribute to the late Spanish filmmaker who launched the careers of Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz will focus on Mediterranean identities. All three films selected for this event are at least partly set in the Valencia region. The posthumous documentary Bigas x Bigas (2017) will be shown on Friday December 15th, with an introduction by co-director Santiago Garrido Rua, scriptwriter Carmen Chaves, and filmmaker Ventura Pons. Bigas Luna’s widower, Celia Orós, and his daughter and co-organiser of this event, Betty Bigas, will also join the Q&A session after the screening, which will be followed by a cava reception held in the cinema hall. Huevos de oro (1993) will be introduced by Professor Carolina Sanabria (University Costa Rica) on Saturday 16th. Son de mar (2001) will be screened on Sunday 17th, with an introduction by Professor Santiago Fouz Hernández (Durham University). All screenings will start at 8PM at Albatexas Cinemes, Plaça de Fra Lluís Colomer, 4, 46021 València.

Bigas Luna Tribute website:
Twitter @bigaslunahomage

(17 Nov 2017)

New publication from Dr Laura Campbell: The Medieval Merlin Tradition in France and Italy - Prophecy, Paradox, and Translation

The medieval figure of Merlin is intriguing, enigmatic, and riddled with contradictions. Half human, half devil, he possesses a supernatural knowledge that allows him to prophesy the future. This study interrogates medieval perceptions of language and translation through the figure of Merlin, whose conversion of prophetic speech from his omniscient mind into human languages parallels the work of the medieval translator. At the same time, the transmission of the Merlin story between vernacular French and Italian dialects presents an alternative model of translation, one that relies not on the displacement of previous texts, but instead on the accretion of information from text to text.

(15 Nov 2017)

Dr Gerald Moore has been awarded €400,000 by the EU's Marie Curie-Sklodowska RISE fund for a three-year project on 'Real Smart Cities'

As a Co-Investigator to Dr Noel Fitzpatrick (PI, Dublin Institute of Technology) and Professor Bernard Stiegler (Co-I, Institut de Recherche et d'Innovation, Paris), Dr Gerald Moore will investigate the ways in which the algorithmic governance of so-called 'smart city' technologies presents a threat to democracy and citizenship, and how digital tools might be harnessed to create new forms of community participation, or 'real smart cities', in which excluded citizens hold the key to developing new forms of collective intelligence.

The award means that Durham will play host to several visiting doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, who will undertake research into the transformation of knowledge by digital technology. They will be based in the Digital Studies research group and Centre for Cultural Ecologies. Several Durham researchers, including the PhD students Benjamin Herm-Morris and Pierluca D'Amato, will also be spending substantial time in Paris, working in Stiegler's lab at the Pompidou Centre while also being embedded in 'Plaine Commune', an experimental real smart city that has recently been set up in Seine-Sainte-Denis.

(14 Nov 2017)

New publication by Adam Talib: How Do You Say 'Epigram' in Arabic? Literary History at the Limits of Comparison (Brill, 2017)

How Do You Say "Epigram" in Arabic? Literary History at the Limits of Comparison by Adam Talib

Brill, 2017 

The qaṣīdah and the qiṭʿah are well known to scholars of classical Arabic literature, but the maqṭūʿ, a form of poetry that emerged in the thirteenth century and soon became ubiquitous, is as obscure today as it was once popular. These poems circulated across the Arabo-Islamic world for some six centuries in speech, letters, inscriptions, and, above all, anthologies. Drawing on more than a hundred unpublished and published works, How Do You Say “Epigram” in Arabic? is the first study of this highly popular and adaptable genre of Arabic poetry. By addressing this lacuna, the book models an alternative comparative literature, one in which the history of Arabic poetry has as much to tell us about epigrams as does Greek.

(23 Oct 2017)

New Publication from Dr William Schaefer 'Shadow Modernism: Photography, Writing, and Space in Shanghai, 1925-1937' (Duke University Press, 2017)

During the early twentieth century, Shanghai was the center of China's new media culture. Described by the modernist writer Mu Shiying as "transplanted from Europe" and “paved with shadows,” for many of its residents Shanghai was a city without a past paradoxically haunted by the absent past’s traces. In Shadow Modernism William Schaefer traces how photographic practices in Shanghai provided a forum within which to debate culture, ethnicity, history, and the very nature of images. The central modernist form in China, photography was neither understood nor practiced as primarily a medium for realist representation; rather, photo layouts, shadow photography, and photomontage rearranged and recomposed time and space, cutting apart and stitching places, people, and periods together in novel and surreal ways. Analyzing unknown and overlooked photographs, photomontages, cartoons, paintings, and experimental fiction and poetry, Schaefer shows how artists and writers used such fragmentation and juxtaposition to make visible the shadows of modernity in Shanghai: the violence, the past, the ethnic and cultural multiplicity excluded and repressed by the prevailing cultural politics of the era and yet hidden in plain sight.

(11 Oct 2017)

New critical edition from Alexandre Burin

Alexandre Burin has published new edition of Jean Lorrain’s Le Sang des dieux with L’Harmattan. Co-edited with Pascal Noir, this volume presents the decadent poet’s first entry onto the literary scene with a group of poems exploring violence, homosexuality and death.

(6 Oct 2017)

Seven job vacancies in Modern Languages

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures is pleased to announce seven job vacancies at associate professor and professor levels, to start on 1 September 2018. We welcome applications from outstanding candidates from all backgrounds. Further details may be found here:

TWO Assistant professors (French / Francophone studies): deadline 31 October

Assistant professor (Hispanic studies): deadline 15 November

Chair (Italian studies): deadline 22 November

Assistant professor (German studies): deadline 12 December

Chair (Hispanic studies): deadline 14 December

Chair (French studies): deadline 18 December

(22 Sep 2017)

Dr Luke Sunderland's new book published

Luke Sunderland, Rebel Barons. Resisting Royal Power in Medieval Culture, Oxford, OUP, 2017 

Dr Sunderland’s book explores epic poems set in the time of Charlemagne, which were popular with warrior aristocrats in the twelfth to fifteenth centuries. It studies rebel baron narratives across several centuries, across the full geographical range of its spread especially France, England, and Italy.

(21 Sep 2017)

New Play on Cancer by Abir Hamdar

Dr Abir Hamdar’s play Wasafuli al-Sabr (English title: I am Waiting for You – directed by Lina Abyad) premiered in Beirut, Lebanon in July 2017. Based on Arab women’s testimonies of their cancer experience, the play is part of a larger project on a Cultural History of Cancer in the Arab World which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of their Open World Research Initiative. The play was performed at Madina Theatre, Beirut, to the general public and leading oncologists, NGO foundations and cancer support groups also participated in the nightly post-performance Q and A sessions. Following the public performances, the play was also staged at a leading medical center, LAUMC-Rizk Hospital on 8 August 2017, to doctors, nurses, interns and medical students – thus marking the first occasion upon which Arab adult theater has been performed at a hospital. See further details.

(21 Sep 2017)

Tyneside Cinema and Durham University present 'What's Left? A Century in Revolution' (29 September-8 October)

Tyneside Cinema and Durham University, in association with Cross-Language Dynamics (OWRI), present a special programme of film, visual art and discussions to mark the occasion of the centenary of the Russian Revolution of 1917. While rooted in history, the programme's emphasis is on the significance of revolution today. Moving from Latin America to the Middle East, from China to the former Soviet Union, from North Africa to Europe, it explores the global reach and transnational interrelatedness of revolutions. For more detail see the project webpage and press release. Book your tickets via the Tyneside cinema booking site.

(18 Sep 2017)

Tina Kover (O'Donnell) - translation of Manette Salomon by Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

Tina Kover (our own Tina O’Donnell)’s translation of Manette Salomon by Edmond and Jules de Goncourt is forthcoming. It is the first-ever English-language version of this ground-breaking naturalist art novel. 

Manette Salomon, originally published in 1867, tells the story of four young artists living in Paris—Coriolis, Anatole, Garnotelle, and Chassagnol—who begin as friends and students in the same studio and whose lives and careers vary greatly in the years that follow. 

Manette Salomon’s importance has to do not only with the book itself, but with its authors as well. The Goncourt brothers are well known to history, both for Edmond’s establishment of the Académie Goncourt, which awards perhaps the most important prize in French literature each year, and for their Journals, a popular reprint edition of which was published by NYRB Classics in 2007, calling the work “one of the masterpieces of nineteenth-century French literature.” Manette Salomon stands as an early example of the realist and naturalist movements in nineteenth-century French literature and is in fact the first realistic novel ever written about a visual artist. 

Manette Salomon (with an introduction by Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze) will be released by California-based Snuggly Books on 27 November 2017 and is available now for pre-order on Amazon. 

For more information, please click here:

(11 Sep 2017)

Visiting Professorship for Dr Dusan Radunovic at the Higher School of Economics in Russia

Visiting Professorship for Dr Dusan Radunovic at the Higher School of Economics [Perm Campus] in Russia during September 2017

(11 Sep 2017)

Dr Rebekah Clements awarded a Major ERC Starting Grant

Dr Rebekah Clements (MLaC - Japanese Studies) has been awarded a prestigious ERC Starting Grant for her project 'The Aftermath of the East Asian War of 1592-1598'. The project, which will run over five years with Dr Clements as Principal Investigator, has received 1.4 million euros in funding and will involve two postdocs, and two PhD students. The war, which is also known as the Imjin War, was the largest conflict of the world of the sixteenth century. The project will investigate the demographic, environmental, and material legacy of the war in Korea, Japan, and China, focusing on the seventeenth century but not precluding ongoing effects in the region.

(8 Sep 2017)

Durham student blogs about Voltaire

Durham student Hannah Hawken reflects on using Electronic Enlightenment to research Voltaire’s philosophical tale L’Ingénu for the first-year module Reading French Literature. Her blog appears with the Voltaire Foundation, the world leader for eighteenth-century scholarship.

(11 Aug 2017)

Professor Daniel Newman interviewed by BBC on the Arabic Nights and the representation of Arabs in Hollywood

The Arabian Nights and the representation of Arabs in Hollywood ( 

(20 Jul 2017)

New Bigas Luna Tribute in Mexico City this August

Durham University is collaborating with the MICgenero film festival for the fourth Bigas Luna tribute event in Mexico City this August. Following the success of previous events in San Francisco (March 2015), Newcastle upon Tyne (June 2016) and Barcelona (December 2016), the Mexico City tribute is the largest yet, with a total of 13 film screenings in three different venues between August 8th and 12th, 2017. The retrospective opens with a screening of the film Jamón, jamón (1992), starring Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, at the Cineteca Nacional Mexico on August 8th at 7.30PM, introduced by Dr Santiago Fouz Hernández (Durham). The other two venues are the Centro Cultural Universitario of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the cinema complex Cinepolis (Diana) in central Mexico City. As well as the entire ‘Iberian Portraits’ trilogy, this fourth Bigas Luna tribute includes the films Son de mar/Sound of the Sea (2001) and Yo soy la Juani/My name is Juani (2006), not shown in the previous tribute events, and the recent documentary Bigas x Bigas (2016). 

A fifth tribute event is now being planned in Valencia (Spain) for December 2017, with more to be announced next year. For more information and full schedule of the Mexico City tribute please visit the Bigas Luna Tribute website and the twitter links @bigaslunahomage and @micgenero.

The Bigas Luna Tribute events featured in El País newspaper 

El País newspaper has published a piece on the research behind the Bigas Luna tribute events organised by Dr Santiago Fouz Hernández in collaboration with Betty Bigas. The article focuses on the ambivalent critique of machismo and old models of Spanish masculinities in the films of Bigas Luna and includes excerpts from an interview with Santiago Fouz during the events in Mexico City last August. Previous events elsewhere were also featured in newspapers including in Ara (Barcelona), The Guardian The Guide and San Francisco Gate. More about the Bigas Luna tribute events here.

(30 Jun 2017)

Mr Niall Oddy: Disagreements on what Europe means go back to the 16th century

(15 May 2017)

Professor Nicholas Saul organises and addresses conference ‘Novalis und die Medizin’ ‘(Novalis and medicine’) at the International Novalis Society

Professor Nicholas Saul both organised and spoke at the conference of the Internationale Novalis-Gesellschaft in May 2017 to mark Friedrich von Hardenberg’s 245th birthday and also the 25th anniversary of the Society's foundation. The conference took place at Schloß Oberwiederstedt, the Hardenberg family Stammschloß (ancestral castle) and Novalis’s birthplace, in Sachsen-Anhalt. 

22 papers by leading international scholars including Nicolas Pethes, Alice Kuzniar, Dietrich von Engelhardt, Heinz Schott, Manfred Engel and Jürgen Barkhoff were delivered on the theme of 'Novalis und die Medizin‘ (Novalis and medicine). Professor Saul spoke on ‘Blüthenstaub. Leben und Mitteilen. Zum Kommunikationsbegriff der Romantik’. 

The conference was sponsored by the State of Saxony-Anhalt (Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff), the Alfred Krupp von Bohler und Halbach-Stiftung, and the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina in Halle.

(9 May 2017)

Excellent Rankings achieved by Modern Languages at Durham in the Complete University Guide 2018

In the recently published Complete University Guide 2018 (, the School of Modern Languages and Cultures of Durham University is ranked 2nd in French, German, Italian, Hispanic Studies, Middle Eastern and African Studies and Russian & East European Languages, 3rd in East and South Asian Studies (a new entry in the league table). At the institutional level, Durham is currently ranked 6th in the UK.

(2 May 2017)

Professor Nicholas Saul has just completed a short lecture tour in North America

On 30 March he gave a public lecture at the University of Toronto for the Department of German Languages and Literatures, Odette Hall: 'On Difficulty: Botho Strauß, the Two Cultures, and Evolutionism'. 

On 3 April he gave a public lecture at the University of Vermont for the Department of German & Russian, the Honors College, and the Humanities Center, Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building: 'The Evolution of Literature and the Literature of Evolution'."

(18 Apr 2017)

Jonathan Long delivers public lecture at UC Berkeley: Photography and Pacifism in the Weimar Republic

In the early years of the Weimar Republic, a range of new polities, collectives, and publics grew up within the newly-formed democratic state. This created conditions for new forms of political action and address. In this lecture, two case studies – Ernst Friedrich’s book "War against War!" and John Heartfield’s photomontage "Ten Years On" – are the starting point for an exploration of the ways in which pacifist activists mobilized emerging forms of visual culture and sought to enlist new publics in the pacifist cause. In doing so, both the potential and limitations of photography as a form of political agitation become apparent, in ways that have resonance for photographic debates of our own time.

Jonathan Long is Professor of German and Visual Culture at the University of Durham (UK).

(5 Apr 2017)

T M Johnstone archive brought into daylight for Undergraduate Arabists’ Workshop at Palace Green Library

During the last week of Epiphany Term, final-year undergraduates in Arabic undertook a trip to the Special Collections section of the University’s Palace Green Library for a workshop-seminar as part of the Arabic Linguistics and Dialectology module. The students worked on original manuscripts and recordings that comprise the archive of the late Thomas Muir Johnstone (d.1983), a pioneering linguist and dialectologist of Arabic and of the Modern South Arabian Languages. Prof. Johnstone held a chair in Arabic at SOAS; on his retirement from SOAS in 1982 he took up an honorary fellowship in Durham University’s School of Oriental Studies. His materials were donated to Durham University after his death, and are held as part of the Special Collections at the Palace Green Library. Also invited to participate in the workshop was Prof. G. Rex Smith, who worked with T.M. Johnstone and later edited Johnstone’s Mehri Lexicon posthumously (London, 1987) for publication. Prof. Smith held an academic post in Arabic at Durham University from 1978–1989

(20 Mar 2017)

School of Modern Languages and Cultures celebrates the Persian New Year

A celebration of the Persian New Year took place on 14 March organised by Mandana Mashayekhi-Ghoyonloo. The Persian New Year, known as Nowruz, is celebrated with some specific traditions, which were shared with both staff and students. They were introduced to Haftseen, the picturesque table setting for Nowruz and to the Persian calendar, where the new year starts with the Spring, and were immersed in Persian culture with music, poetry readings, and Persian sweet delicacies.

(17 Mar 2017)

CALL FOR PAPERS: Language Learning and Teaching Conference: Developing Speaking Skills

15th September 2017, The University of Leeds

The purpose of the conference is to bring together researchers and language teachers working in Higher Education in the UK and internationally to discuss the nature and challenges currently faced in the field of language learning and teaching. This conference intends to:

  • Push forward the under-researched field of speaking skills by showcasing original research and innovative practice.
  • Support a closer integration of language learning theory and pedagogical practice.
  • Bridge the gap between MFL, EFL and EAP and provide a forum for all practitioners to develop collaborative projects, across language education regardless of the discipline.
  • Act as a catalyst for collaboration across institutions.

Deadline for submitting abstracts: 24th April

For further details and the full call for papers, please see the conference website:

(10 Mar 2017)

The Fourth Durham Chinese Speech Competition took place on 1 March 2017

The Fourth Durham Chinese Speech Competition was successfully held at on 1st March 2017 in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. The competition is an annual event organized by the Chinese Language Area since 2014. It aims to boost students’ enthusiasm in Chinese language learning. Students from all learning stages participated in this year’s competition. All participants presented a speech in Chinese and the judges evaluated their presentation based on the content, pronunciation, use of vocabulary and sentence patterns, as well as presentation skills. At the end of the competition, five students were awarded with prizes and issued with a certificate. 

The Beginners Group: 

  • First prize winner: Seakuk OH
  • Second prize winner: Nirmala WAHAB
  • Third prize winner: Alina KREKHANOVA 

The Intermediate group:

  • First prize winner: Bertrix CELINE 

The advanced group:

  • First prize winner: Elodie VINCENDEAU 

(7 Mar 2017)

Dr Victoria Ivleva awarded BASEES (British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies) Women's Forum Article/Chapter Prize for 2017

‘Victoria Ivleva, 'Catherine II as Female Ruler: The Power of Enlightened Womanhood.' Vivliofika: e-journal of eighteenth-century Russian studies, 3, pp. 20-46.

The judges were unanimous in their conclusion that Victoria Ivleva’s ‘Catherine II as Female Ruler: the Power of Enlightened Womanhood,’ was a clear winner and a delight to read. The essay is a well-argued and original contribution to the literature on Catherine. The author engages with a wide range of texts and explains her argument in a way which is scholarly, interdisciplinary and accessible. The article adeptly engages the reader in a flowing discussion of various strategies that Catherine used to legitimize her authority as a female ruler. Ivleva expertly focuses on Tsarina's letters as well as portraits and clothes to make a convincing case that Catherine capitalised on both masculine and feminine roles and behaviours by highlighting androgynous qualities. She crafted a public image of herself as a woman of merit, a matriarch, craftswoman, house manager and educator and conveyed the notion that an advantage of womanhood was its virtue of housecraft, itself analogous to statecraft.’ 

The prize will be awarded at the Women's Forum event at this year's BASEES Conference.


(28 Feb 2017)

5th Postgraduate Colloquium in Translation Studies took place in February 2017

‘Translation and Diversity: Communicating Approaches in Translation Studies’ (Saturday-Sunday, 11-12 February 2017)

Durham’s fifth Postgraduate Colloquium on Translation Studies took place last weekend; over 100 postgraduate students and academics attended.

The event was organized by a group of our own PhD students, and with support from Binghan Zheng, Sergey Tyulenev and MLAC colleagues associated with the Centre for Intercultural Mediation.

The Pemberton Rooms on Palace Green were packed for our three keynote talks, parallel sessions featuring 26 presentations on diverse aspects of translation and interpreting studies, poster sessions and a final round-table discussion.

PhD students from every part of UK and from elsewhere in Europe (Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland and Italy) presented their research. 

Our keynote speakers presented on: ‘The role of interpreters in major historical events’ (Dr Binhua Wang, Centre for Translation, Leeds), and ‘Translation and Sustainability in the Age of the Anthropocene’ (Prof. Michael Cronin
from Dublin City University), drawing on research for his most recent book: Eco-Translation: Translation and Ecology in the Age of the Anthropocene (2017).

Professor Steven Guanpeng Dong, one of Don Starr’s former PhD students, now Professor and Dean at the Communication University of China, was warmly received, particularly by our Chinese students, as a special guest speaker on Saturday afternoon.

Prizes for the best presentations were awarded to: Eva Spisiakova (Edinburgh), Binghua Chen (Stirling) and Yazid Haroun (Durham)

This was a stimulating and enjoyable occasion that provided our doctoral students with opportunities to present and to network with their contemporaries and gave our MA students insights into possible research areas for the future.

(17 Feb 2017)

CALL FOR PAPERS: Early Modern French Conference 2017

The Society for Early Modern French Studies will hold its annual conference in the magnificent setting of Durham Castle, at the heart of the World Heritage Site, on 11-13 September 2017. The theme is ‘Modernity and its Discontents’. Papers are invited on any aspect of this theme. Subjects may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Modernity in literature and thought: questions of imitation, evolving attitudes to the past, realignments of genres, models and literary and philosophical practices, the ‘querelle des anciens et des modernes’.
  • Reactions to the new, the innovative, the fashionable, the notion of emergence.
  • Perceptions of change, themes of memory and nostalgia.
  • Theoretical modernity: problems of anachronism, re-assessments of the positions of Skinner, Maclean, Taylor and others, periodicity and Foucauldian rupture, the notion of episteme, descriptors such as ‘early modern’.

Proposals for papers (250-300 words) should be sent by 13 March 2017 to the Secretary, Professor Richard Maber ( Please note that only members of the Society may present a paper at the conference.

We are delighted and honoured to announce that our keynote speaker will be Professor Michael Moriarty (Cambridge).

(14 Feb 2017)

Conference: Early Modern Viewers and Buildings in Motion

Date and Place
25 February 2017
Old Divinity School, St John's College, Cambridge University

Deadline: Sunday, 12 February 2017
Fee (includes lunch and refreshments): £15

Contact Information
Kimberley Skelton (Durham University):

(16 Jan 2017) » More about Conference: Early Modern Viewers and Buildings in Motion

Durham University co-hosts a new Bigas Luna Tribute in Barcelona

The third 'Bigas Luna Tribute' event took place in Barcelona on 12-14 December 2016, organised by the filmmaker’s daughter Betty Bigas and Santiago Fouz Hernández (MLAC, Durham University). The event attracted large audiences and included four film screenings (in a screen permanently dedicated to Bigas Luna) and presentations by specialists from the universities of Durham, Melbourne and Costa Rica. The opening night included an Iberian ham and cava reception sponsored by Moritz Barcelona and Vallformosa. Screenings were attended by the acclaimed filmmaker’s family and some of his colleagues, including Consol Tura, casting director of most of his films, and art director Chu Uroz, who also spoke in the opening night. Film director Ventura Pons launched the event with a memorable speech about his much missed colleague and friend Bigas Luna.

The events were widely covered by local and regional media, including a full page in the prestigious daily Ara, reports in La Vanguardia and El Nacional, segments on Radio Barcelona, Catalunya Radio, and Barcelona television. The Bigas Luna Tribute will continue in Los Angeles and more cities to be confirmed in 2017.

More information on the Barcelona event here. Follow @bigaslunahomage

(15 Dec 2016)

Professor Nicholas Saul gives Plenary Address at European Union Cultural Event in Brussels

Professor Nicholas Saul gave the plenary address (on Brexit) and shared in the panel discussion on the theme ‘Visions of a New Europe – New Perspectives from German Romantic Thought around 1800’, a European Union cultural event at the Zentrum der Regionen, Boulevard Saint Michel, Brussels, sponsored by the state of Sachsen-Anhalt/Saxony-Anhalt and the Bertelsmann-Stiftung/Bertelsmann Foundation, 30 November 2016.

(1 Dec 2016)

Modern Languages Alumni, Lucy Taylor, commended by Gapper Undergraduate Essay Prize Panel

Many congratulations to one of our alumni, Lucy Taylor, who was commended for her final-year essay by the Gapper Undergraduate Essay Prize panel. And well done to Zoe Roth, for whose module Lucy produced the work last year, and who entered her for the Gapper Undergraduate Essay Prize.

(29 Nov 2016)

French Film Festival at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle

(10 Nov 2016)

Durham University & Cinemes Texas celebrate late Spanish filmmaker Bigas Luna in Barcelona December 2016

Durham University will be co-hosting with Cinemes Texas new events to celebrate the legacy of the late Spanish filmmaker Bigas Luna in Barcelona this December. Following the success of other tribute events in San Francisco in 2015 and in Newcastle upon Tyne earlier this year, the Barcelona tribute will include four film screenings, public talks by international experts on Bigas Luna and street performances inspired by the ‘Iberian Trilogy’ of films. The events are organised by Santiago Fouz Hernández, Reader in Hispanic Studies at Durham, and Betty Bigas. More information here and @bigaslunahomage 

Monday 12 December 
8PM  Jamón, jamón with introduction by Santiago Fouz Hernández (Durham University). Followed by cava reception.

Tuesday 13 December
8 PM Huevos de oro 
10.30 PM La teta i la lluna with introduction by Alfredo Martínez Expósito (Univeristy of Melbourne)

Wednesday 14 December
8PM Bilbao with introduction by Carolina Sanabria (IIARTE, Universidad de Costa Rica)

Director Ventura Pons will also speak at one of the screenings.

Details of street performances will be announced at 

(24 Oct 2016)

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Fifth Durham Postgraduate Colloquium on Translation Studies

The Centre for Intercultural Mediation at Durham University is currently organizing the 5th Durham Postgraduate Colloquium on Translation Studies, which is due to take place in Durham Castle on 11-12 February, 2017. 

The event takes place every year in Durham and we invite postgraduates and researchers from all over the Europe gather together, sharing their new research findings and discussing the current and future trends in Translation Studies. 

This year the topic is: Translation and Diversity--Communicating Approaches in Translation Studies. We will have Annie Brisset and Michael Cronin as our keynote speakers. In addition, every participant has 20 minutes to present his/her research and 10 minutes to answer questions raised by audience. This is then followed by a round table discussion on the topic. 

We have made clear our aims and scope, lists of speakers and advisory board, schedule and registration fee in the Call for Papers document, which I attach here

Please see Colloquium details and call for Papers. The deadline for application is 2 December 2016. 

(14 Oct 2016)

Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze’s French début novel awarded the Prize Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco

Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze's French début novel, La logique de l'amanite (Grasset, 2015), has been awarded the Prize Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco, coup de cœurs des lycéens.

(5 Oct 2016)

International centre for research into Spanish & Latin American art announced

(30 Sep 2016) » More about International centre for research into Spanish & Latin American art announced

Dr Tom Wynn publishes new translation of Sade’s The 120 Days of Sodom

The Marquis de Sade’s important and influential novel The 120 Days of Sodom appears as a Penguin Classic on 29 September 2016, in a new translation by Tom Wynn and Will McMorran (Queen Mary, London). Flaubert and Baudelaire read Sade; the surrealists were obsessed with him; film-makers like Pier Paolo Pasolini saw parallels with twentieth-century history in his writings; and feminists such as Andrea Dworkin and Angela Carter clashed over him. This new edition, complete with a full scholarly introduction and notes, will reignite debates about sex, violence, ethics and literature. See also for Tom and Will’s more personal reflections on the challenges of translating this infamous work.

(27 Sep 2016)

Dr Andy Byford invited to be Visiting Professor at the UFR de Langues Étrangères, L’Université Grenoble Alpes (2017)

Dr Byford will present research papers on the history of child science in Russia and deliver lectures on the history of the Russian human sciences in relation to concepts such as ‘empire’ and ‘modernisation’. He will also be involved in the organization of the workshop ‘Politics in post-Soviet emigration’.

(21 Sep 2016)

Dr Qing Cao awarded a three-month fellowship by The Center for Chinese Studies of Taipei, Taiwan (2017)

Dr Cao’s research project deals with the transmission of Western ideas of modernity to Late Imperial China. Dr Cao will conduct archival research in the National Library of Taiwan, where the centre for Chinese Studies is located.

(21 Sep 2016)

The Palestine Trust sponsors postgraduate student Tamara Barakat

After graduating in English Language and Literature from Birzeit University in 2015, Tamara became Project Coordinator of the Arab AmeriCare Foundation’s internship programme and managed its social media accounts. Then she worked as a translator at the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR), mainly working with foreign donors and ambassadors, following up their meetings with PECDAR’s manager and proofreading all PECDAR’s documents that need to be written or published in English. 

Tamara is an artist working in graphite, pencil and watercolour. She was delighted to be a guide at Omar Ben Dinae’s exhibition “The Ceremonial Uniform” at Birzeit University. Here, after long conversations with the artist, she was able to explain to visitors in Arabic, English or French the artist’s ideas and methods, especially as they touched on themes like gender, culture, identity, and politics. At university, she greatly enjoyed partnering Katie, a foreign student on Birzeit’s 1-semester Palestine and Arab Studies (PAS) program and helping her to learn Arabic while they became friends and learned about each other’s culture, traditions and ways of life. 

Her short stories and poems can be found at and she hopes to write a novel for young adults. In 2014, she used a selection of her poems and research she had done on the role of graffiti as a nonviolent tool of resistance in Palestine to enter and win the “Nimeh Fares Prize of Excellence” in English Literature. Her other interests include drama and hiking.

(19 Sep 2016)

CALL FOR PAPERS: Annual Conference of Society for French Studies

Durham will be hosting the annual conference of the Society for French Studies, 3-5 July 2017


Call for papers closes 23 September 2016

(15 Sep 2016)

Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze's French début novel nominated for the Prize Fondation Pierre de Monaco

Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze's French début novel, La logique de l'amanite (Grasset, 2015) has been nominated for the Prize Fondation Pierre de Monaco, coup de cœurs des lycéens, which will be awarded in Monaco on 4 and 5 October 2016.

(15 Sep 2016)

Latest Publication from Dr Francesco Venturi , postdoctoral researcher in Italian Studies

Dr Francesco Venturi's new book on Andrea Zanzotto published.

Genesi e storia della "trilogia" di Andrea Zanzotto (Pisa: ETS, 2016) - read more

(14 Sep 2016)

Professor Nicholas Saul awarded the English Goethe Society’s 2016 PEGS Prize

Professor Nicholas Saul, German Studies in Durham, has been awarded the English Goethe Society’s 2016 PEGS Prize for an outstanding article published in the journal in the previous year. The award is for your article ‘“Vorgänger Darwins” or “Nachfolger Goethes”? Wilhelm Bölsche on Evolutionism in Goethe and Novalis or, Literature and the Two Cultures Then and Now’, which appeared in PEGS 84.1 (2015).

(14 Sep 2016)

PhD student Catherine Ellis wins conference prize

PhD student Catherine Ellis has been awarded the Postgraduate Conference Paper prize by the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. She presented her research on ‘The Alimentary Lifecycle of the Libertine Prostitute’ at the Postgraduate and Early Career Scholar Conference, at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (30 June - 1 July 2016).

(14 Jul 2016)

Finalist Sophia Smith-Galer successful in United Nations essay contest

An MLAC finalist, Sophia Smith-Galer beat many hundreds of contestants from across the world with her Arabic essay for the 2016 Many Languages, One World international essay contest, which is organised by the United Nations. Alongside the winners in the other UN languages, Sophia will shortly be travelling to New York on an all-expenses paid trip, and will be a guest of honour at the Many Languages, One World Global Youth Forum at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. In addition, she will also get the opportunity to speak at the General Assembly of the United Nations. For more details, see:

(12 Jul 2016)

Dr Gerald Moore discusses politics and technology on Radio Suisse

Dr Gerald Moore has made a number of appearances on Radio Suisse to discuss politics and technology. These appearances are related to Dr Moore’s ongoing research collaboration with Professor Bernard Steigler and Ars Industrialis. See here and here.

(28 Jun 2016)

International Conference (12-13 July 2016): Risking the Future: Vulnerability, Resistance, Hope

Conference flyer

Conference website

(27 May 2016)

Interview with Authors and Translators [Tina O'Donnell]

Tina is an MLAC alumnus who is now a part-time free-lance translator

(27 May 2016)


Durham University is delighted to announce two new Postgraduate Taught Scholarship Schemes. Deadline for both schemes is 4 June 2016. More details from our postgraduate funding page under ‘MA FUNDING' here

(19 May 2016)

NEW Funding opportunity for PhD candidates from Australia, The Bahamas, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cyprus, Malta, and New Zealand: BIS 2016 Scholarships

NEW Funding opportunity for PhD candidates from Australia, The Bahamas, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cyprus, Malta, and New Zealand: BIS 2016 Scholarships (deadline 17th June 2016 at 23:59 BST.)

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission has very recently been informed by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Scottish Government that they will provide funding for a small number of Commonwealth Scholarships for candidates from developed Commonwealth countries in 2016/17 for PhD and split-site PhD study.
Candidates are invited to apply direct to the CSC using their Electronic Application System. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of CSC Commissioners. The system is now open for applications until the closing date of 17th June 2016 at 23:59 BST.
Full details of the awards are available on our Website at: 

(18 May 2016)

15 June 2016 - 5.30-7.30PM POSTGRADUATE RECEPTION

All postgraduate students (MA taught, MA by research and PhD), postdocs, research fellows and academic staff are warmly invited to the end-of-year postgraduate reception on June 15th from 5.30PM in A56 (Elvet Riverside building). Refreshments will be served.

(6 May 2016)

Homage to Bigas Luna at Tyneside Cinema and Vane in Newcastle (¡Vamos Festival!) 8-12 June 2016

From 8 June to 12 June, the Tyneside Cinema, Vane gallery and ¡Vamos! Festival will pay homage to one of Spain’s most fascinating contemporary filmmakers and artists, Bigas Luna. The programme will feature some of Bigas Luna’s most striking films and video artworks along with Q & A sessions, a themed party inspired by Bigas Luna’s films and Spanish food inspired by the films. The event is organised by Dr Santiago Fouz Hernández, Reader in Hispanic Studies at Durham University in collaboration with Bigas Luna’s daughter, Betty Bigas.
Vane gallery video art exhibition (‘Barbaric Comedies’) opens on Wednesday 8 June. Preview Friday 10 June 5.30-7.30 PM.
‘Iberian Trilogy’ screenings include introduction by Santiago Fouz Hernández and Q&A with Betty Bigas and casting director Consol Tura: Friday 10th June: 8PM Jamón, jamón ; Saturday 11th June: 5PM Golden Balls ; 8.30PM, The Tit and the Moon. Additionally, Bigas Luna’s last film Didi Hollywood will be shown on Sunday 12th June at 3PM with introduction by Santiago Fouz Hernández.
Tyneside Bar Café will have a special menu all weekend with food and drink inspired by the films and will host the after party on Friday 10th from 10.30PM. Sunday brunch from 10AM.
¡Vamos! social will have a mardi grass event on Saturday 11th from 11PM.
For more information see attached flyer or websites: 

Homage to Bigas Luna website 

twitter @bigaslunahomage


(6 May 2016)

Excellent results for the School of Modern Languages and Cultures in the Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship Competition for 2016 entry

The School has received 4 awards in the areas of French, Interpreting and Translation, Italian and Hispanic Studies. We are looking forward to welcoming our new research students and we congratulate them on their success.

(29 Apr 2016)

Dr Alex Bellem undertakes fieldwork in Jordan

Dr Alex Bellem (Arabic Studies, MLAC) is currently on research leave in Jordan, having been awarded a Senior Visiting Research Fellowship by the CBRL. She is based for 3 months at the British Institute in Amman where she is working on the initial stages of the Disappearing Lifestyles? Dialects and Traditions of the Rural North, Centre and South of Jordan project. This aims to investigate, document and compare three varieties of rural Jordanian Arabic, within the context of disappearing rural traditions.

During the first month of the project, Dr Bellem has been on 2 fieldwork trips. The first was a 4-day fieldtrip in collaboration with an anthropologist and ethno-botanist (BIA Director Dr Carol Palmer), and an ethno-archaeologist (CBRL Research Fellow Dr Sarah Elliott). The team visited various people and localities around al-Safi (medieval Zughor), near the southern end of the Dead Sea, before heading east into the mountainous Tafilah region, where they conducted work in the old abandoned houses of al-Ma‘tan and al-Namatah villages. In between exploring the mud-and-stone houses and their material culture, Dr Elliott was able to take dung samples from livestock in al-Ma‘tan and al-Safi. Meanwhile, Dr Bellem was recording sample linguistic data, which involved much tea-drinking and interesting conversation with people in both the mountains of Tafilah and the low-lying Ghor al-Safi. The team were assisted by the women of SafiCrafts, by SCHEP team members and ACOR staff, and by Ma‘tan Ecovillage.

Dr Bellem followed this with a 5-day ‘scoping’ fieldtrip back to the southern Dead Sea area, staying with families in al-Mazra‘ah and al-Safi. Utilising ethnographic methods, Dr Bellem spent time exploring the regional dialects. She did the rounds of visiting many households to drink coffee with the women, played with numerous small children, had her hands henna’d, trooped out with the neighbours to pick wild khobbeza [common mallow, a type of Malva], ate zarb and mansaf on the Friday picnic excursion with 68 family members, and wadi-walked through the gorge and incredible rock formations at Wadi Nmeyra. From this she has significantly delimited the project, identified several potential language consultants and other key contacts, and started gathering useful comparative linguistic data. 

(18 Apr 2016)

Professor Andy Beresford has been awarded 12-month Leverhulme Research Fellowship

Professor Beresford will be undertaking research on Sacred Skin: The Legend of St Bartholomew in Spanish Art and Literature during academic year 2016-17

(7 Apr 2016)

MLAC success in AHRC’s Open World Research Initiative (OWRI)

Durham’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures (MLAC) is a key contributor to one of four major research programmes that UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is funding as part of its Open World Research Initiative (OWRI). Durham’s researchers are part of a consortium, led by Professor Stephen Hutchings (University of Manchester), which has been awarded £3.9 million to develop a large interdisciplinary programme of research titled Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community.

The aim of AHRC’s multi-million pound investment in its priority area of Modern Languages is to explore and foreground the central role that languages play in relation to key contemporary issues, such as social cohesion, migration, health, business and diplomacy. The initiative thereby seeks to have a significant impact on the study of modern languages in the UK.

(21 Mar 2016) » More about MLAC success in AHRC’s Open World Research Initiative (OWRI)

Professor Andrea Noble has been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) grant for the project “Cold War Camera: Visual Legacies in Latin America,” which will run from April 2016 to December 2017

Andrea Noble has been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) grant for the project “Cold War Camera: Visual Legacies in Latin America,” which will run from April 2016 to December 2017. The project is a collaboration with the internationally-recognized Guatemalan photographer and activist Daniel Hernandez-Salazar and the Centro de la Imagen, Mexico’s premier institution dedicated to the diffusion and discussion of photography. We will soon be opening a competition to recruit 3 early-career Latin American photographers who, under the mentorship of Daniel, will produce new portfolios of work related to the Cold War and its legacies in the region. The selected photographers will participate in workshops to be hosted in partnership with institutions dedicated to the preservation and promotion of memory of the conflict in lesser known sites of Cold War: Museo de las Memorias (Asunción), National Police Historical Archive (Guatemala City) and the Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco (Mexico City).

The workshops will bring photographers from different Latin American countries together with professionals from the partner institutions, and with human rights activists, curators and academics to stimulate creative work that investigates what can be learned from the local histories, lived experiences, material traces of the Cold War, as well as its transnational connections. It will lead to a major exhibition funded, produced by and displayed at the Centro de la Imagen’s prestigious Mexico City gallery.

(14 Jan 2016)

Professor Nick Saul publishes co-edited volume with Rodopi: 'The Early History of Embodied Cognition 1740-1920: The Lebenskraft-Debate and Radical Reality in German Science, Music, and Literature'

More information about the volume may be found here.

(11 Jan 2016)

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Fourth Durham Postgraduate Colloquium on Translation Studies '

The Fourth Durham Postgraduate Colloquium on Translation Studies

Translation and Interpreting Studies at the Crossroad:

A Dialogue between Process-oriented and Sociological Approaches

More details available here

(17 Dec 2015)

Conference: Self-Commentary in Early Modern European Literature

26th February 2016, 10:30 to 27th February 2016, 13:00, Palace Green Library, Learning Centre, Durham University

Writers the world over have often accompanied their texts with a variety of annotations, marginal glosses, rubrications, and explicatory or narrative prose in an effort to direct and control the reception of their own works. Such self-exegetical devices do not merely serve as an external apparatus but effectively interact with the primary text by introducing a distinctive meta-literary dimension which, in turn, reveals complex dynamics affecting the very notions of authorship and readership. In the Renaissance, self-commentaries enjoyed unprecedented diffusion and found expression in a multiplicity of forms, which appear to be closely linked to momentous processes such as the legitimation of vernacular languages across Europe, the construction of a literary canon, the making of the modern author as we know it, and the self-representation of modern individual identities.

The Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS) at Durham University will host an international conference on the topic of self-commentary and self-exegesis in early modern European literature, 26-27 February 2016 at Palace Green Library.

Registration is free. To reserve a place, please email:

Plenary lectures will include Martin McLaughlin (Oxford) on Leon Battista Alberti, John O’Brien (Durham) on Montaigne, and Federica Pich (Leeds) on Italian Renaissance poetry. Eight scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds will explore various literary traditions, from Neo-Latin Humanism to sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English, French, and Polish literature: Harriet Archer (Newcastle), Gilles Bertheau (François Rabelais – Tours), Carlo Caruso (Durham), Jeroen De Keyser (Leuven), Russel Ganim (Iowa), Joseph Harris (Royal Holloway – London), Ian Johnson (St Andrews), and Magdalena Ożarska (Jan Kochanowski – Kielce). 

Click here to view the conference programme

For further information, please contact the event organiser:

(7 Dec 2015)

14 December 2015: Information about all MA programmes and postgraduate study across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities

MONDAY 14 DECEMBER 2015 - St Chad's College, 12-2.30 PM (Main talks in Williams Library, Info points at The Chapel): Information about all MA programmes and postgraduate study across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The sessions will cover information about content of courses, sources of funding available, application process and career destinations of MA graduates. There will be opportunities to ask questions.


(2 Dec 2015)

9 December 2015: Postgraduate Information Session for Durham finalists

WEDNESDAY 9 DECEMBER 2015 - ER143, 12-1PM: Postgraduate Information Session for Durham finalists. The session will cover information about MA programmes offered in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures (MA in Translation Studies, MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, MA in Visual Arts and Cultures and MA by research). The sessions will cover information about content of courses, sources of funding available, application process and career destinations of MA graduates. There will be opportunities to ask questions. More info on our taught programmes can be found here:

(2 Dec 2015)

Professor Lucille Cairns publishes new book Francophone Jewish Writers: Imagining Israel with Liverpool University Press

Professor Lucille Cairns’s new book Francophone Jewish Writers: Imagining Israel has just been published with Liverpool University Press. Lucille’s new monograph considers the differing emotional investments in Israel of, on the one hand, Jews physically domiciled in Israel and, on the other hand, diasporic Jews living outside Israel for whom the country nonetheless forms a central point of affect. More details may be found here.

(30 Nov 2015)

Translating Europe regional workshop: ‘Machine Translation: Opportunities and Threats’

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University is hosting a Translating Europe regional workshop - 'Machine Translation: Opportunities and Threats' - on Wednesday 25 November (pm) 

The workshop is funded by the European Commission and supported by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) and Institute for Translation and Interpreting. 

Speakers include: Prof. Dorothy Kenny (Dublin City University) and Dr Markus Foti (Directorate General for Translation). 

The event is free to attend. Register on-line with Event Brite to claim a place and view the programme: 

#TranslatingEurope #MTDurham

(13 Nov 2015)

Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze has won the Prix André Dubreuil for her novel La Logique de l’amanite

Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze has won the Prix André Dubreuil for her novel La Logique de l’amanite. This prize is awarded by the Société des Gens de Lettres for a début work.

La logique de l'amanite is strongly influenced by Catherine's research expertise in 19th-century French literature: her main character, Nikonor de la Charlanne - a grumpy old snob with possible homicidal tendencies -, is a passionate reader of Chateaubriand, Baudelaire, Zola, Huysmans and the Goncourt brothers.

For access to a reading sample and review extracts from the national and regional press, you can go to:

(6 Nov 2015)

New Publication: the latest edition of the Edinburgh German Yearbook, edited by Dora Osborne: Archive and Memory in German Literature and Visual Culture

(19 Oct 2015)

Hannah Grayson [Teaching Fellow French] has just been made a Commendee of the Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence for Postgraduates Who Teach

Hannah Grayson has just been made a Commendee of the Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence for Postgraduates Who Teach (WATE PGR). 

(12 Oct 2015)

Durham Leverhulme Doctoral Training Programme in Visual Culture (deadline 15 JANUARY 2016)

The Durham Leverhulme Doctoral Training Programme in Visual Culture are now open. More information available at

(6 Oct 2015)

New round of AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership Studentships now open for 2016 entry (deadline 11 January 2016)

More info here For more information about postgraduate research funding opportunities in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures click here


(6 Oct 2015)

Congratulations to Federico Casari (Italian Studies) and Anna Hurina (Russian Studies), who have successfully defended their PhD theses

Congratulations to Federico Casari (Italian Studies) and Anna Hurina (Russian Studies), who successfully defended their PhD theses on Friday October 2nd. Federico’s thesis, entitled "The Origin of the 'Elzeviro'. Literature and Journalism in Italy, 1870-1920” was examined by Professor Ann Caesar (Warwick) and Dr Annalisa Cipollone (Durham). Anna’s thesis, entitled ‘Representations of Urban Spaces and their Transformations in Soviet Cinema of the 1920s and 1960s’ was examined by Dr Jeremy Hicks (Queen Mary, University of London) and Dr Dusan Radunovic (Durham). 

(5 Oct 2015)

Dr Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze publishes her debut novel: La logique de l’amanite

Link to Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze’s debut novel, La logique de l’amanite

(11 Sep 2015)

Professor Daniel Newman at the Shubbak Festival 2015

Professor Daniel Newman will be taking part in a panel discussion on 'The rise of Arabic literature in English' at the Shubbak Festival. There has been a significant growth in the availability of works by Arab authors in the English language in recent years, as well as a rise in the number of Arab authors winning mainstream literary prizes. But what impact has this surge of interest in Arabic literature had on the writers, translators and readers of these works? The discussion will take place on 25 July 2015 at the British Library.

(13 Jul 2015)

Professor Daniel Newman publishes new coursebook on Arabic translation

Professor Daniel Newman, in collaboration with Dr Ronak Husni, has published with Routledge Arabic-English-ArabicTranslation: Issues and Strategies, an accessible coursebook for students and practitioners of Arabic-English-Arabic translation. Focusing on the key issues and topics affecting the field, it offers informed guidance on the most effective methods to deal with such problems, enabling users to develop deeper insights and enhance their translation skills.

(1 Jul 2015)

Dr Isabel Matthews-Schlinzig’s edited issue ‘Writing in Extremis’ has just come out with Oxford German Studies.

For centuries, the proximity of death has motivated people to reflect on and communicate their thoughts and feelings through writing in extremis. The current issue explores key moments in the history of this practice in German literature and culture from the late eighteenth century to the present day. Contributions deal with a range of artists and authors, formats, and themes. C. F. D. Schubart, Franz Schubert, and Ernst Jünger feature alongside Peter Kien, Alfred Gong, and Christoph Schlingensief. Genres discussed include poetry, musical compositions, and ego-documents (such as suicide and cancer diaries, letters, and suicide notes). Among the aspects explored are the functions of sharing one’s life in the shadow of death with others; the struggle with the material, psychological, and linguistic challenges of autothanatography; and the interplay between creativity, the vagaries of the situation, and genre conventions, which — alongside its common theme — holds this type of writing together. 

All the articles may be accessed here.

(18 Jun 2015)

Durham University receives generous donation of copy of Emperor Qianlong’s library

Thanks to a generous donation from Hong Kong based charity Chin-Kung Multicultural Education Foundation, Durham has received a 1500-volume set (covering 3641 titles) of fine cloth-bound reproductions of the 18th-century Chinese Emperor Qianlong’s library. MLAC’s Dr Binghan Zheng was instrumental in bringing this exceptional donation to Durham. 

Durham is one of only three UK institutions – along with Jesus College, Cambridge and the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford – chosen by the Foundation to receive this major collection (whose financial value is over £50,000) for the study of China. It is a recognition of Durham’s position as a leading centre of excellence for the study of China in the UK and the collection, which is now housed in Bill Bryson Library, will contribute to the consolidation and strengthening of Durham’s long held reputation as the premier research institution in the north of England in Chinese cultural and historical studies. 

The University Library, the Centre for Intercultural Mediation, and the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies (SGIA) are planning a joint conference to be held sometime in the second half of September in Durham to mark the donation. More news to follow in due course.

(15 Jun 2015)

Professor Nicholas Saul has been appointed Director (Arts & Humanities) of the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham, from 1 September 2015

(4 Jun 2015)

Professor Daniel Newman presents his book The Sultan’s Sex Potions at the Bradford Literary Festival

Arabic erotic literature has a long and rich history, which goes back as far as the ninth century. Far from being the pursuit of prurient pornographers, eroticism and sexuality received considerable attention from scholars. The Sultan’s Sex Potions was written by Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī (1201–1274), one of the leading scientists of the age, and is part of a group of works devoted to aphrodisiacs as well as sexual practices and positions. Sober and measured in tone, the treatise was intended as a manual and guide, to be used by those afflicted with various sexual ailments, especially impotence, for self-healing, without resorting to a physician. It was composed at the request of the ruler and so its potions, electuaries, syrups and enemas enjoyed a ‘royal warrant of appointment’ to arouse the lust for coitus and enhance sexual potency.

Professor Newman will present his translation and edition of this work at the Bradford Literary Festival on Saturday 23 May 2015

(22 May 2015)

Dr Marie Isabel Matthews-Schlinzig and Dr Catherine Moir collaborate with Durham School on Germany’s Confrontation with the Holocaust in a Global Context

Between 20 April and 1 May, the exhibition Germany’s Confrontation with the Holocaust in a Global Context was hosted by Durham School (in collaboration with Dr Marie Isabel Matthews-Schlinzig and Dr Catherine Moir, School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University. 

About 300 pupils, teachers, and parents visited the exhibition during its stay in Durham. It was accompanied by a series of seminars that introduced pupils of years 9, 10, and 12 to a range of themes, including ‘Transnational Holocaust Memory’, ‘Artistic Responses to the Holocaust’, and ‘British Memory Culture’ (led by Dr Moir); and ‘Resistance’ (led by Dr Katharine Goda, Durham University). The seminars were supported by Durham University students: finalists Cecilia Cadman and Julia Borowska gave presentations on the ‘Nameless Library in Vienna’ and on ‘Polish Memory of the Warsaw Uprising’ respectively; second-year student Katie Unwin assisted with pupils’ work in class. On 29 April, Dr Moir gave an evening lecture which was attended by pupils, teachers, and parents. The talk focused in particular on past and present debates about memorialization and artistic representation of the Holocaust. 

Feedback on the exhibition, the seminars, and the lecture was very positive; a selection of comments is included below. Dr Moir and Dr Matthews-Schlinzig would like to expressly thank Dr Michael Alderson, Senior Master at Durham School, for his engagement and support of the exhibition’s visit and of the programme of activities that accompanied it.

‘I found the exhibition very helpful […]. It allowed me to not only learn something new but to refresh what I had learnt in the past about the Holocaust.’
Charlotte Napper, pupil at St Leonards 

‘Really […] insightful exhibition. I learnt a lot and it fueled my passion for German.’
Madison Lowes, pupil at Durham School 

‘Thank you. We must never forget for all those that never came through. The world must never forget.’
Graham Burnard, parent 

‘Overall I felt, and the students and staff agree, that it was very successful, beneficial and well done. The exhibition was used for History, Art and PSHE lessons and was flexible enough in content to be useful for all of these. The size of it and format worked well for a school also.’
Diccon Tyreman, Head of History, Durham School 

‘The exhibition is well put together and extremely thought provoking on many different levels. It’s a difficult task to encapsulate the sense of perspectives surrounding an event as traumatic and history-changing as the Holocaust and the exhibition really achieves this.

 The boards and information concerning memorials and how we continue to remember the Holocaust were for me the most interesting and relevant. The exhibition […] worked as the perfect springboard for our resources and was the backbone of our seminars.

  I have genuinely enjoyed my time working with the exhibition and hope it receives a similar reception wherever it travels to next!’
Katie Unwin, student at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, Durham University 

‘The VI Form Linguists from Durham School and St Leonard’s who had attended the Resistance seminar […] all […] thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and found it very useful. In some instances, pupils reported how surprised they had been at their own interest in the topic, of which they little or nothing beforehand. The lecture on the Thursday evening proved to be very successful and popular with the parents and the pupils.’
Dr Michael Alderson, Head of German, Durham School

(20 May 2015)

Dr Tom Wynn awarded £23K by the Modern Humanities Research Association

Tom Wynn has been awarded £23,000 by the Modern Humanities Research Association to support an associateship for the academic year 2015-16. Based in Durham and in collaboration with the Voltaire Foundation (University of Oxford), the research associate will contribute to the Complete Works of Voltaire, focusing particularly on Voltaire’s development of the short chapter form.

(14 May 2015)

Dr Annalisa Cipollone appears on Radio 4's Today programme

Dr Annalisa Cipollone will appear on Radio 4’s Today programme to talk about Dante’s 750th anniversary. Dr Cipollone will appear on this flagship programme, which has more than 7 million listeners every day, on Tuesday 12 May 2015.

(11 May 2015)

Professor Carlo Caruso to deliver the Clara Florio Cooper Memorial Lecture

Professor Carlo Caruso, Durham, will deliver the Clara Florio Cooper Memorial Lecture at 5pm on 14 May in the Main Hall, Taylor Institution. Admission free.

‘War, hunger and censorship: Italian as seen through the letters of Italian PoWs in the Great War’

It is estimated that approximately four billion letters were exchanged between soldiers and their families and friends during the Great War on the North-Eastern Italian front (1915-1918). Part of this correspondence consisted of letters by Italian PoW's which had been subjected to Austrian censorship. A significant portion of this corpus, from correspondents from all walks of life, was examined by a wartime Austrian censor who was also a promising young philologist, Leo Spitzer (Vienna, 1886-Forte dei Marmi, 1960). In the works he subsequently published on the subject, Spitzer offered a vivid recollection of the circumstances that had led him to analyse that extensive material, where he was able to find ample evidence of the human being's inventive approach to language and expression. 

(30 Apr 2015)

Professor Nicholas Saul awarded Fellowship by the Morphomata Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Cologne

‘These prestigious fellowships are awarded to scholars working within the Humanities, during the coming session in the field of biography/life writing and portraiture. In this context Nicholas will spend spend most of the academic year 2015-2016 in Cologne working on a monograph project ‘“Progressive Phylogenie”. Von der Biographie der Natur zur Biographie des Menschen: Die Be-schreibung des Lebens in der deutschen Literatur seit Darwin’ (‘“Progressive Phylogeny”. From the Biography of Nature to the Biography of Humanity. The Writing of Life in German Literature since Darwin’).’

(30 Apr 2015)

Dr Abir Hamdar interviewed by Jadaliyya about her recent publication: 'The Female Suffering Body: Illness and Disability in Modern Arabic Literature'

(27 Apr 2015)

Dr Andy Byford [Russian] awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship 'Science of the Child in Late Imperial and Early Soviet Russia, 1881-1936

(27 Apr 2015)

New Publication from Dr Abir Hamdar Islamism and Cultural Expression in the Arab World (Routledge, 2015)

Whereas most studies of Islamism focus on politics and religious ideology, this book (co-edited by Abir Hamdar and Lindsey Moore) analyses the ways in which Islamism in the Arab world is defined, reflected, transmitted and contested in a variety of creative and other cultural forms. It covers a range of contexts of production and reception, from the early twentieth century to the present, and with reference to cultural production in and/or about Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, the Gulf, Lebanon and Israel/Palestine. The material engaged with is produced in Arabic, English and French and includes fiction, autobiography, feature films, television series, television reportage, the press, rap music and video games.

For more information, see


(27 Apr 2015)

Conference: Diplomacy and Literary Exchange: England and Italy in the long 18th Century

Diplomacy and Literary Exchange: England and Italy in the long 18th Century 

An international conference organised by Durham University, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Università di Roma “La Sapienza”, Università di Pisa and the British School at Rome 

Modena 21-23 maggio 2015
Complesso di S. Geminiano – Aula Magna Via S. Geminiano 3

(17 Apr 2015)


Information about the conference and guidelines for submitting proposals can be found here

Centre for Intercultural Mediation

(25 Mar 2015)

North East Research Away Day In Linguistics

The annual North-East Research Away Day in Linguistics took place on 18th March at The Core, in Newcastle’s new Science Central development. The Away Day is a collaboration between linguists at the universities of Durham, Newcastle and Northumbria, and was hosted this year by Newcastle’s Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences (CRiLLS). The main feature of this year’s event was presentations of work in progress given by staff and PhD students of Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham.

The Away Day will be hosted by Northumbria in 2016, and by Durham in 2017.

(20 Mar 2015)

Conference: Languages: Pathways to the World

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures will be holding a two day conference for school teachers on 28 – 29 March. This has been organised by Dr Marcela Cazzoli-Goeta with the support of the Student Recruitment and Admissions team and will see teachers from across the country attend the free event and hear from many of the School’s academics, teaching staff and researchers. The event is designed to create a productive working relationship with schools and to support teachers with their work both delivering language teaching and offering guidance and support to students progressing into Higher Education.

(6 Mar 2015)

Two members of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, Professor Jonathan Long and Professor Janet Stewart, have helped to secure a Leverhulme Doctoral Studentships Award in Visual Culture, which brings more than £1million to the University

Two members of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, Professor Jonathan Long and Professor Janet Stewart, have helped to secure a Leverhulme Doctoral Studentships Award in Visual Culture, which brings more than £1million to the University. The bid was led by Professor Ludmilla Jordanova (History), who is a Co-director of the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture (CVAC). Together with her colleagues Janet Stewart, Director of the Centre, and Professor Jonathan Long, also a Co-Director, she will be developing an interdisciplinary form of training to ensure that new generations of scholars possess critical visual literacy. 

The first cohort of students will start in the Autumn of 2015, and the application process will open soon. Further details will be released shortly. Please visit the CVAC website [] for more details of the Centre's activities, including the role members of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures are playing in it. The results of the Leverhulme competition, the first in a new scheme, were announced on Wednesday 3rd December 2014. Each University was allowed to submit one application, and 14 projects have been funded in this round. The School is delighted to be involved in this successful bid. 

(8 Dec 2014)

New book published by Dr Katrin Wehling-Giorgi [Dept of Italian] 'Gadda and Beckett: Storytelling, Subjectivity and Fracture'

(25 Nov 2014)

New Japanese Studies degree launched

The University welcomed the Japanese Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Keiichi Hayashi, to Durham to celebrate the launch of the School's new BA in Japanese Studies.

The multi-disciplinary programme offers students the opportunity to study the language and culture of Japan alongside a range of other modules from Anthropology to Law, and includes a year studying abroad at a Japanese university. The launch was also celebrated with a week of talks, workshops and cultural events. 

Acting Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, Professor Ray Hudson said: “Japan is a key player in the world economy and the graduates from this new programme at Durham will be equipped to compete on the global stage. Durham is a truly global University and we are always keen to broaden our awareness and understanding of world cultures.” 

Item in the Japanes Embassy's web magazine: 

(25 Nov 2014)


Join us for a one-hour meeting to learn about our MA programmes:

- MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies
- MA in Arabic-English Translation and Interpreting
- MA in Translation Studies
- MA in Culture and Difference
- MA in Visual Arts and Culture
- MA by research

Learn more about:
Funding opportunities; Content of taught programmes; MA level research; Postgraduate life at Durham; Career destinations of former Students; further research at PhD level


(10 Nov 2014)

The School of Modern Languages & Cultures welcomes new staff in French and Italian

Dr Zoe Roth [French] joins us from King's College London. Her research and teaching specialisations include 20th-century French literature and visual culture and Francophone Jewish writing.

Dr Marc Shachter [French] joins us from the University of Oregon. His research and teaching specialisations include early modern French literature and culture, medieval French literature, medieval and Renaissance Italian literature and sexuality and gender studies.

Dr Katrin Wehling-Giorgi [Italian] joins us from the University of Warwick. Her research and teaching specialisations include 20th-century and contemporary Italian and comparative literature, with particular focus on the theoretical intersections between psychoanalysis and narrative and discourses surrounding subjectivity and space.

(4 Sep 2014)

Professor Daniel Newman’s new book on Arab aphrodisiacs reviewed in Times Literary Supplement

(3 Jun 2014) » More about Professor Daniel Newman’s new book on Arab aphrodisiacs reviewed in Times Literary Supplement

Professor Nicholas Saul appointed Co-Director of the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience

Professor Nicholas Saul has been appointed Co-Director of the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience ( with responsibility for liaison with the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities’

(3 Jun 2014)

New doctoral funding opportunities announced - deadline 30 May 2014

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures is inviting applications for TWO doctoral studentships for 2014-15 entry. These awards are administered by Durham University and are offered thanks to support of the Newby Trust Ltd. The studentships cover tuition fees at the home/EU rate (£3,900), a maintenance award of £13,726, and a small research travel fund. Studentships will be awarded initially for the first year of study, with the possibility of renewal for up to two further years. Deadline for applications is 30 May. More information HERE.

(5 May 2014)

NEW BOOK edited by Lucille Cairns and Santiago Fouz-Hernández has been published

NEW BOOK edited by Lucille Cairns and Santiago Fouz-Hernández has been published. 

All the contributions originated in presentations given to the Culture and Difference Research Group.

Rethinking ‘Identities' Cultural Articulations of Alterity and Resistance in the New Millennium

This volume sets out to re-imagine the theoretical and epistemological presuppositions of existing scholarship on identities. Despite a well-established body of scholarly texts that examine the concept from a wide range of perspectives, there is a surprising dearth of work on multiple, heterogeneous forms of identity. Numerous studies of ethnic, linguistic, regional and religious identities have appeared, but largely in isolation from one another. Rethinking ‘Identities’ is a multi-authored project that is original in providing – in distributed and granular mode – a hyper-contemporary and wide-ranging applied analysis that questions notions of identity based on nation and region, language, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion or even ‘the human’. The volume achieves this by mobilizing various contexts of identity (gender, ethnicity, sexuality, nation) and medium (art, cinema, literature, music, theatre, video). Emphasizing the extreme contemporary (the twenty-first century) and the challenges posed by an increasingly global society, this collection of essays builds upon existing intellectual investigations of identity with the aim of offering a fresh perspective that transcends cognitive and geographical frontiers.

(17 Apr 2014)

MLAC student magazine

(25 Mar 2014) » More about MLAC student magazine

Professor Nicholas Saul awarded the Christopherson-Knott Fellowship at the Durham Institute of Advanced Studies

Professor Nicholas Saul has just been awarded the Christopherson-Knott Fellowship at the Durham Institute of Advanced Studies in Epiphany Term 2015. In the context of the IAS theme The Experience of Emergence he will be working on The Emergence of the Posthuman in Dietmar Dath’s dystopian scifi novel "Die Abschaffung der Arten" ("The Abolition of Species"). 

Follow this link:

(21 Mar 2014)

Professor Daniel Newman was interviewed on Monocle Radio earlier this week to discuss his new book, The Sultan's Sex Potions

37m36sec into the show

(10 Mar 2014)

Dr Nicholas Roberts shares insights on Venezuelan political troubles

Dr Nicholas Roberts was interviewed on Voice of Russia on the subject of recent political turmoil in Venezuela. A transcript of the interview has now appeared online:

(3 Mar 2014)

CALL FOR PAPERS - International Conference 'Interprofessional and Interdisciplinary Relations in Russia' organised by Dr Andy Byford

Interprofessional and Interdisciplinary Relations in Russia: Zones of Collaboration, Competition and Conflict

International conference, funded by Durham University's Faculty of Arts & Humanities and its School of Modern Languages and Cultures, taking place in Durham on 19-21 September 2014 at the Institute of Advanced Study.

Professions and sciences form a complex, highly differentiated yet closely interconnected, field of expert knowledge and labour, vital to all modern states and societies. The focus of this conference will be on the dynamics of this field in Russian history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The conference will re-examine the history of Russian professions and sciences from a new vantage point – that of interprofessional and interdisciplinary relations. This is a neglected aspect of this history, yet vital to understanding how Russian professions and sciences created, defined and legitimised their work, expertise and jurisdictions. The topic is particularly timely given the importance currently accorded to interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaboration in matters of academic and technological innovation, and the purported potential that this has for solving complex challenges, including those relating to the environment, healthcare, changing demographics, and the way new technologies affect society. For further details see the conference agenda.

Confirmed participants include (in alphabetical order): Nick Baron (University of Nottingham), Frances Bernstein(Drew University), Andy Byford (Durham University), Juliette Cadiot (EHESS, Paris), Victoria Donovan (University of St Andrews), Karl Hall (Central European University), Jonathan Oldfield (University of Birmingham), and Kenneth Pinnow(Allegheny College).

The keynote lecture, titled Russian 'Cosmism' as a Potential Inspiration for Twenty-First Century Interdisciplinary Work will be given by Professor Steve Fuller of the University of Warwick.

On how to submit a proposal see the open call for papers.

The deadline for the submission of proposals is 22 April 2014.

(20 Feb 2014)

Professor Daniel Newman shares research insights on medieval Arab sexuality

(18 Feb 2014) » More about Professor Daniel Newman shares research insights on medieval Arab sexuality

Professor Carlo Caruso [Italian] to take up Visiting Fellowship at All Souls College Oxford during Hilary Term 2014-15

(11 Feb 2014)

Opportunities for funding of MA and PhD level study beginning 2014-15

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University is pleased to announce a number of funding opportunities at MA and PhD level for study beginning in 2014/15, including AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership, Durham University Doctoral Studentships, and Faculty of Arts and Humanities MA Bursaries.

(17 Dec 2013)

Dr Kathryn Banks is awarded 2013 Philip Leverhulme Prize

The £70,000 prizes recognise the achievements of early career researchers whose work has made an international impact and whose future is exceptionally promising.

Kathryn Banks has been awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize for her research on the specificity of literary thinking relative to other forms of thought in the early modern period. This long-term project, which
investigates how literature functioned as a tool for thought rather than simply a vehicle, is unfolding across three interrelated monographs. The first, Cosmos and Image in the Renaissance (2008), shows how
poetry’s deployment of images contributed to fundamental Reformation questions about the relationship between God, ‘man’
and the world. The second, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship, uses literature to provide insights into apocalyptic thinking by juxtaposing Reformation apocalypticism with conceptions of literature as prophecy.

The third, initiated during a research lectureship funded by Terence Cave’s international Balzan project, will explore the relation between literary thinking and cognitive neuroscience, taking the writings of François Rabelais as a test case for the way literature employs figurative movement to exploit brain responses resembling those
produced by actual movement

(22 Nov 2013)

Professor Carlo Caruso’s new book on Adonis in the Italian Renaissance

Professor Carlo Caruso new book Adonis: The Myth of the Dying God in the Italian Renaissance is published by Bloomsbury Press. In this detailed treatment of the myth of Adonis in post-Classical times, Professor Caruso provides an overview of the main texts, both literary and scholarly, in Latin and in the vernacular, which secured for the Adonis myth a unique place in the Early Modern revival of Classical mythology. See

(22 Nov 2013)

Rosa Rankin-Gee, a recent Modern Languages graduate, publishes her first novel

On Tuesday 19th November, Rosa Rankin-Gee, a 2010 Durham graduate, will be returning to our lovely city to promote her first ever novel, 'The Last Kings of Sark'.

Rosa studied Modern Languages at Durham only a few years ago and won the 'Durham 25' award for the 25 most promising Durham graduates. Since then, she has co-founded 'A Tale of Three Cities' arts journal, was one of Esquire magazine's '75 Brilliant Young Brits 2010' and won the 2011 Paris Literary Prize. Now living in Paris, Rosa has released her book with the publisher Virago Press. 

(15 Nov 2013)

The latest book from Dr Santiago Fouz Hernández Cuerpos de cine has been published and will be launched in Barcelona on 16th December 2013

The launch will be on December 16th at 7.30 PM in librería Antinous in Barcelona, with director Ventura Pons and Professor Sara Martin Alegre (Autonomous University of Barcelona).

The book uses the Spanish expression ‘cuerpos de cine’ (meaning ‘film bodies’, but also ‘spectacular bodies’) to trace a continuum of performative masculinities in contemporary film and popular culture. It places special emphasis on male nudity, phallic imagery and its sensual perception by the spectator/viewer (hence the subtitle: ‘carnal masculinities’). The cross-media case studies include the films of Spanish filmmakers Pedro Almodóvar, Alejandro Amenábar, Bigas Luna or Ventura Pons, as well as some non-Spanish texts and contexts that have had a particular global impact on contemporary understandings of masculinities – and their deconstruction. 

(29 Oct 2013)

CALL FOR PAPERS: Second Durham Postgraduate Colloquium 'Theoretical Frameworks and Methodologies: Research in Translation Studies'

Following the success of the first colloquium with over 100 attendees, the Centre for Intercultural Mediation of Durham University is pleased to announce the second Postgraduate Colloquium for 2014. 

Keynote speaker: Nike K. Pokorn, ‘Methods in Translation Studies’, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia 

Venue: Room ER201, Elvet Riverside, New Elvet, Durham University, Durham, UK 

Date: 31.01.2014 Times: 8:30-18:30


Translation Studies has to focus on new and hybrid research methodologies revolutionizing the ways in which research is carried out in the field. The discipline is also continuing along its path to systematize the knowledge that various enquiries have produced in different areas of the discipline. 

The colloquium will serve as an opportunity for peers, MA candidates and PhD researchers to share their views on research methodologies, both those that they are adopting in order to test their original research hypotheses and those that they are contemplating for future studies. As in the first colloquium the main focus of the colloquium is on the methodological issues faced when setting up an original piece of research in Translation Studies. What are we studying? How are we studying it? What are the technical challenges posed by our research methodologies? What are the technological issues regarding data collection? What are our concerns about data reliability? How do interdisciplinary methodologies contribute to shaping and changing our research focus? 

Researchers and scholars are all aware of the importance of a sound study methodology, but the fast pace with which the field of Translation Studies continues to develop makes it something of an anomaly in the Arts and Humanities, because so much of the research currently carried out under the umbrella term of Translation Studies stems from approaches taken from disciplines beyond the realm of the humanities. Constructing a sound methodology is a task undertaken by all research postgraduates and researchers; this colloquium provides a forum for debate with peers and experts whilst sharing approaches and concerns impacting beyond one’s individual research project.

Papers should engage with issues of methodology in the widest possible sense. Papers can be accepted in English, German, French, and Arabic as interpreting will be available. The convenor is Callum Walker of Durham University, UK. 

A Scientific Committee will be involved in the selection of the papers for the conference.

To submit a paper to the conference or a poster for a poster session, please email Callum Walker:

- A 200-word abstract
- 5 keywords
- Affiliation (university or company for independent researchers)
- Email address
- 100 words of bio-notes 

Fixed registration fees for speakers and non-speakers: £25 GBP (pays for catering expenses and conference organization). Registration fees will be payable by cheque (in pounds) and credit card.

25 October 2013: Deadline for submission of abstracts
6 November 2013: Notification of acceptance
7 November 2013: Registration opens
15 January 2014: Registration closes

(24 Oct 2013)

Dr Thomas Wynn publishes a new book on violence in 18th-century France

Dr Thomas Wynn presents a volume of essays on violence, an inescapable part of daily life in eighteenth-century France. Exploring its portrayal in a range of fictional and non-fictional sources, contributors analyse violence as a rational act, the basis of (re)written history, an expression of institutional power, and, ultimately, a challenge to morality. 

Representing violence in France 1760-1820
SVEC 2013:10, ISBN 9780729410762, x+288 pages, 1 ill., £60 / €75 / $100

Click here for further details.

(11 Oct 2013)

Jonathan Long presents newly-released film about W. G. Sebald

Jonathan Long presents newly-released film about W. G. Sebald:

(1 Oct 2013)

Professor Nick Saul has edited a new book on German Realism and Romanticism

Edited by Professor Nick Saul, this new collection of essays challenges existing concepts of periodisation and works towards a more differentiated understanding of the complex dynamics in the field of nineteenth-century ‘realisms’ and their role in the overarching intellectual trajectories from Romanticism to Modernism:

(1 Oct 2013)

Slavoj Zižek and The Privatisation of Hope

A new volume of essays edited by Slavoj Zižek aims to revive and revitalize philosophy's commitment to the generative force of hope, and features a chapter by Dr Caitríona Ní Dhúill:

(1 Oct 2013)

Dr Santiago Fouz Hernández gives talk on eroticism in Bigas Luna’s recent films

Dr Santiago Fouz Hernández will be speaking on talk on ‘Eroticismand Haptic Visuality in the Recent Work of Bigas Luna’ at the B&D Studios (Newcastle)on 2 October 2013.

(30 Sep 2013)

Professor Daniel Newman speaks on sexual politics in the Arab world

Professor Daniel Newman will participate in an evening of discussing taboos and changing sexual mores in the Arab World. The event takes place on 6 November 2013, at the Mosaic Rooms (London);

(30 Sep 2013)

Dr Gerald Moore and Christina Howells [Oxford University] publish first collection of essays on the work of Bernard Stiegler

Together with Christina Howells (Oxford), Gerald Moore has just published the first collection of essays on the work of the increasingly important French philosopher of technology, Bernard Stiegler. Entitled Stiegler and Technics (Edinburgh University Press), the volume covers a range of areas touched on by Stiegler's work, including evolution and anthropology, psychoanalysis, economics and politics. Related to this, Gerald also gave a talk on the current economic discourse of debt and austerity at Stiegler's annual conference in Épineuil-le-Fleuriel, which took place in the windmill made famous by Alain-Fourner's Le Grand Meaulnes.

(27 Sep 2013)

Professor John O'Brien joins the School from Royal Holloway

Professor O'Brien is a specialist in the French Renaissance and is currently involved in a project with the National Trust and Libraries.

(27 Sep 2013)

The School is pleased to welcome several new colleagues in 2013-14

The School is pleased to welcome several new colleagues this year:

  • Ms Agnes Bastien - Assistant Teaching Fellow in French
  • Dr Sam Bootle [January 2014] - Lecturer in French joining us from St Andrews
  • Dr Marion Coderch - Assistant Teaching Fellow in Hispanic Studies
  • Mr Mark Critchley - Director of the Centre for Foreign Language Study joining us from Aberdeen
  • Mr Romain Feyt - Lecteur in French
  • Dr Melanie Henry - Lecturer in Hispanic Studies joining us from Belfast
  • Dr Thomas Martinec - Lecturer in German joining us from Regensburg
  • Professor John O'Brien - Professor of French joining us from Royal Holloway
  • Professor Janet Stewart [January 2014] - Professor of German joining us from Aberdeen
  • Miss Cynthia Tavars - Assistant Teaching Fellow in French
  • Dr Simon Ward [January 2014] - Lecturer in German joining us from Aberdeen

(27 Sep 2013)

Dr Santiago Fouz Hernandez awarded an Excellence in Teaching award

Congratulations to Dr Santiago Fouz Hernández, Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies, who has been awarded a University Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr Fouz Hernández has been a member of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures since 2002, and specialises in contemporary Spanish cinema. Dr Fouz Hernández won particular praise from students for the rich and stimulating content of his courses; his emphasis on skills development; and his approach to feedback.

(3 May 2013)

Russian Centre opens in the School of Modern Languages & Cultures at Durham University

On April 23 at Durham University in Northeast England a new Russian Center was official opened at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. “We are very pleased that this is happening here at the third oldest university in England,” Pyotr Skorospelov said. “Durham University was founded in 1832, and its academic foundation rest firmly on the centuries-old academic history of the city. Your academic traditions were founded in the 7th and 8th centuries by the Venerable Bede, the ‘Father of English History’.”

(25 Apr 2013)

Durham students contribute to new blog about language learning

More than 30 Durham Modern Languages students are contributing to a new blog about learning foreign languages. The blog is designed to be a forum for learning about language opportunities from current students, who blog on their experiences at university and while studying abroad. You can find the blog, and details on how to contribute yourself, at

(5 Feb 2013)

Mark Sealy awarded MBE for services to Photography

Mark Sealy, a former student of the taught MA in the Photographic Image, is now undertaking a PhD in Photographic Studies supervised by Professor Andrea Noble in the School of Modern European Languages and Cultures. 

The Durham Centre for Advanced Photography Studies, based at Durham University, is currently unable to offer the taught MA but is keen to hear from applicants wishing to study for MA by Research and PhD degrees in areas of photography theory and criticism.

Mark is the Director of Autograph ABP which is a charity that works internationally to educate the public in photography by addressing issues of cultural identity and human rights.

(21 Jan 2013)

Professor Carlo Caruso awarded Major Research Fellowship from The Leverhulme Trust

Professor Carlo Caruso has been successful in obtaining a Major Research Fellowship from The Leverhulme Trust.  His three-year research project will focus on Italian Vernacular Classics and Textual Scholarship, 1270-1870 and will commence on 1 September 2013.

(21 Jan 2013)

The School of Modern Languages & Cultures is pleased to announce a wide range of funding opportunities for postgraduate study in 2013-14

(17 Dec 2012)

Durham Book Festival: Writing in the Academy - Professor Andrea Noble provides an insight into the skills and pressures of academic writing

The Institute for Advanced Study in conjunction with the Durham Book Festival welcomed academic authors Professor Andrea Noble, Professor Maggie O'Neill and Professor Richard Hingley.  Writing in the University requires a particular set of skills and is shaped by some very particular pressures.  Academic authors need to present original research, to respond to the cut and thrust of peer reviews, to engage in scholarly debate with colleagues, and to be accessible to wider audiences. 

(26 Oct 2012)

Dr Santiago Fouz Hernández organises Taller sobre erotismo y cine español workshop at Harvard University, funded by British Academy

The workshop, organized by Santiago Fouz-Hernández (Univ. Durham, UK) was sponsored by the British Academy.

The Taller featured four presentations: Brad Epps (Harvard/Cambridge) talked about 'La mirada morbosa" in the Spanish Transition. Santiago Fouz Hernández (Durham) presented a paper on "Homoerotismo y cuerpos masculinos en el cine de Ventura Pons". Tatjana Pavolović (Tulane University) worked on the movie Peppermint Frappé (1967) and 'The Beginning of the Geraldine Chaplin and Carlos Saura Story'. Barbara Zecchi (UMass Amherst) talked about 'Erotismo “invisible”: la mujer madura en el cine español de autoría femenina'. Isolina Ballesteros (Baruch College, CUNY) concluded the workshop with an analysis of the connections between the four interventions. Santiago Fouz Hernández said that the workshop 'is part of a long-term project that seeks to query commonplace characterisations of Spanish cinema as erotic by exploring in detail the mechanisms by which it effects its erotic charge', adding that 'the five presentations and the discussion that followed show that Spanish cinema scholars continue to produce cutting-edge research in Film Studies, contributing to the latest debates in the field, such as haptic visuality or cinematic tactility'.

(22 Oct 2012)

Durham Modern Linguist wins prestigious international award

Alex Mansell has won an international prize at the Undergraduate Awards for her essay ‘To what extent does libertinage allow for diverse sexual identities?’, supervised by Dr Thomas Wynn.

(4 Oct 2012) » More about Durham Modern Linguist wins prestigious international award

Dr Santiago Fouz Hernández in conversation with film maker Ventura Pons at an International Congress in Denver

Dr Santiago Fouz Hernández has been asked to conduct the plenary talk 'in conversation' with Ventura Pons at an International Congress in Denver

(1 Oct 2012)

Professor Daniel Newman discusses the pros and cons of establishing a no-fly zone over Syria on the Voice of America

Professor Daniel Newman, School of Modern Languages and Cultures, discusses the pros and cons of establishing a no-fly zone over Syria. You can listen to the MIddle East Voices programme on the Voice of America and read more here.

(21 Sep 2012)

Federico Casari, postgraduate student, wins guest lectureship at Seton Hall University (NJ)

Federico Casari, postgraduate student supervised by Professor Carlo Caruso,  has won a guest lectureship at Seton Hall University (NJ) for September after facing stiff competition from the other applicants. During the three/four-week duration of the lectureship he will give three lectures, the remainder of his time will be spent undertaking research towards completion of his thesis. They have an excellent library on 19c and 20c Italian history and literature, and he will be able to count on the presence there of a renowed specialist in his field of reearch, Professor Gabriella Romani.

(9 Aug 2012)

Professor Nicholas Saul elected to Präsidium of Internationale Novalis-Gesellschaft

Professor Nicholas Saul was elected to the Präsidium (Council) of the Internationale Novalis-Gesellschaft (International Novalis Society) for three years from May 2012.

(4 Jul 2012)

The Russian Department have been awarded funding of £198k for a new Centre for Russian Cultural and Critical Studies

The Russian Department has been awarded £198k by the Russian World Foundation for the establishment of a new Centre for Russian Cultural and Critical Studies. The Centre will provide a platform upon which existing co-operation across the broad range of expertise in this area at Durham can be consolidated, bringing together colleagues from the Departments of Russian, History, Music, and Education. The Centre will be directed by Dr Alastair Renfrew, assisted by a newly-appointed colleague, whose position will be funded by the Foundation for an initial period of five years.

(15 Jun 2012)

Dr Stefano Cracolici has been selected as a 2012/2013 Getty Scholar at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles

Dr Stefano Cracolici has been selected as a 2012/2013 Getty Scholar at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.  The grant will support his research project entitled "Medusean Colors" and the period of residency runs from  April to June 2013.

(9 May 2012) » More about Dr Stefano Cracolici has been selected as a 2012/2013 Getty Scholar at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles

Dr Kathryn Banks has been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship

Dr Kathryn Banks, a Senior Lecturer in the Dept of French, has been awarded a 12-month Research Fellowship by The Leverhulme Trust.  Kathryn's research will focus on "Literature, Prophecy and Apocalypse in France, 1532-1628" and will culminate in the publication of a monograph.

(24 Apr 2012)

Dr Naomi Hoogesteger to carry Olympic Flame

Dr Naomi Hoogesteger, who teaches in the Spanish Department, has been selected to carry the Olympic Torch. 

Naomi, along with two other rising sportswomen from Durham University, will carry the torch through County Durham on Sunday 17 June. They will be part of the 8,000 torchbearers who will pass on the Olympic Flame on its 70-day journey across the UK and were nominated by Durham University in partnership with Olympic partner, Samsung. 

Dr Hoogesteger, who combines part-time postgraduate study with a teaching post in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, hit the headlines last year when she broke the world record for the fastest Atlantic rowing crossing as the only female crew member. She completed the crossing in 31 days and 23 hours raising over £40,000 for charities along the way. Naomi has already set herself her next challenge as she plans to canoe down the Amazon river in the summer of 2014 to set another world record. 

Naomi said: "Although I am a firm believer that true inspiration to achieve must come from within, the support that I have received during my time at Durham University, and in particular from my academic department and college, is unparalleled. Along the various sporting paths that I have taken, I have come to realise that having such a rock to rely upon is of utmost importance in order to achieve ambitions and dreams." 

Also doing the honours on behalf of Durham University will be England U21 hockey player, Steph Elliott, who hails from Middlesbrough, and top five British fencer Kira Roberts. 

All athletes, who compete on the national and international stages as well as represent Durham University, are combining their studies and work with their sporting careers. They have been able to do this at Durham which prides itself on academic excellence combined with opportunities in sport, the arts and volunteering. 

 The athletes represent the quality of women's sport at Durham University, which is ranked 1st in the British Universities and Colleges Sport league table, beating competitors such as Loughborough, Leeds Met and Bath universities to the top spot. 

Durham University cemented its global reputation as a centre for sporting excellence in February with the opening of its £6.7m new sporting facility, which boasts one of only three powered indoor rowing tanks in the country and the only world-class standard fencing specific facility in the UK. The facilities in Durham complement the £5.5m sports centre which was opened at the University's Queen's Campus in Stockton in 2010, with badminton, basketball, volleyball and netball courts, a dance studio and rowing room. 

On Saturday 16 June, a free evening event with music and entertainment on Durham University's Racecourse will celebrate the Olympic flame staying overnight in the City. 

Dr Naomi Hoogesteger - world record holder for fastest Atlantic rowing crossing and bronze medallist at world rowing championships 

Naomi took part in a range of sports as a teenager. She competed at county level in athletics, cross-country and hockey. In 2001, she took up rowing and quickly became one of the top U23 rowers in the country. Naomi was Women's Captain of Durham University Boat Club in 2002-3, and then spent a year on a rowing scholarship in Los Angeles. Following her return to the UK, she competed for the Great Britain Senior Rowing squad. In 2005, she won a bronze medal at the World Rowing Championships (Stroke and steerswoman of the Lightweight Women's Quadruple Sculls) and in 2008 showed her versatility by finishing fourth in the World Quadrathlon Championships (swimming, kayaking, cycling and running). Naomi went on to break the world record for the fastest Atlantic rowing crossing as the only female crew member in 2011 (31 days and 23 hours), raising over £40,000 for charities along the way.

(24 Apr 2012)

Dr Stefano Cracolici has been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship for Dr Giovanna Capitelli

Dr Stefano Cracolici, Reader in the Dept of Italian, has ben successful in obtaining a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship to enable Dr Giovanna Capitelli, Senior Lecturer at the Universita della Calabria, to spent two periods of research in the UK. 

Dr Capitelli is the leading expert on religious art produced in Rome under Pius IX (1846-1878).  Her interests range from 17th-century Dutch painting to Italian 19th-century sacred art, including the mostly famous Nazarene and Purist schools and their artistic influence.

(24 Apr 2012)

Professor Jan Clarke has been awarded a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship

Professor Jan Clarke, Dept of French, has been awarded a 12-month British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship.  Professor Clarke's research will focus on a critical edition in three volumes of the machine plays and operas of Thomas Corneille.

(24 Apr 2012) » More about Professor Jan Clarke has been awarded a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship

Professor Jan Clarke receives Medal of City from Mayor of Tours

Professor Jan Clarke has been awarded the Medal of the City from the Mayor of Tours in recognition of the fact that her research is 'unanimously recognised for its importance in its discipline'.  Jan will receive her medal in June when she will be giving a paper at a conference at the University of Tours.

(24 Apr 2012)

Professor Andrea Noble has been awarded a three-year Marie Curie Research Fellowship

Andrea Noble has been awarded a three-year Marie Curie Research Fellowship for a project on tears and crying in Mexican cultural history, from the conquest through to the present day. Andrea will spend two years working with colleagues the Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, followed by a year back in Durham, where she will develop her ideas and thinking, in part, under the auspices of the Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

(25 Jan 2012)

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures is seeking oustanding candidates to apply for Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships at Durham University

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures is seeking outstanding candidates to apply for prestigious Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships through Durham University. In particular, we welcome applicants working on topics related to the themes of our research groups ( ). Early Career Fellowships aim to provide career development opportunities for those who are at a relatively early stage of their academic careers but with a proven record of research. The Trust contributes 50% of each Fellow's total salary costs up to a maximum of £23,000 per annum and the balance is paid by the host institution. Given the prestige of the awards each Fellow may request annual research expenses of up to £6,000 to further his or her research activities. 

Further information, including eligibility criteria can be found at: and 

Further information about the School of Modern Languages and Cultures can be found at: 

Applicants who want to apply for an Early Career Fellowship through the School of Modern Languages and Cultures will receive assistance in the form of feedback on individual draft applications, especially the project proposal. For this assistance, applicants need to contact Dr Thomas Wynn (, providing the following information, in good time for an internal submission deadline of 2 February 2012: 

  • (a) A current Curriculum Vitae
  • (b) A detailed account of the proposed research, (2 pages of A4, Times New Roman 12 pt). This should include aims, objectives, methodology and publication plans. The methodology should be clear and comprehensible to a non-expert. Bibliographic references should be included in full.
  • (c) An abstract of the proposal in non-technical terms so as to be easily comprehensible to a non-expert.
  • (d) Details of research being undertaken in the department/centre at Durham which is relevant to your proposal. 

Applications will then undergo a process of scrutiny by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities which provides the matching funding. Applicants will be informed whether their application can be supported by Durham by Thursday 9 February, allowing plenty of time for further polishing of the application to meet the Leverhulme Trust deadline of 4pm on 8 March 2012. The Trust will report results, by letter, by the end of May 2012.

(25 Jan 2012)

Dr Andy Byford awarded AHRC Early Career Fellowship

Dr Andy Byford, Lecturer in Department of Russian, has been awarded an AHRC Early Career Fellowship to undertake research on 'Science of the Child in Late Imperial and Early Soviet Russia, 1881-1936'.  The award will commence in October 2012 for a period of 6 months.

(7 Nov 2011)

President of the Italian Republic awards medal to three PhD students who have organised the First Durham Postgraduate Colloquium in Italian Studies

The First Durham Postgraduate Colloquium in Italian Studies, 'Evolution, Revolution or Devolution? Reflections on the Italian Right, 1861-2011', Durham University, College of St. Hild and St. Bede, Joachim Room, 4-5 November 2011, organised by Federico Casari (Modern Languages and Cultures), Giulio Marchisio (History) and Lorenzo Sacchini (Modern Languages and Cultures), has been awarded a medal ('medaglia di rappresentanza') by the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano 'in recognition of the scholarly quality of the Colloquium's programme and as a sign of personal appreciation for the work done by younger researchers in the context of the Department of Italian at Durham'.

(4 Nov 2011)

Postgraduate Student Kevin Sheehan awarded 2011 Walter W. Ristow Essay Prize

Kevin Sheehan, a research postgraduate in the School of Modern Languages, has been awarded the 2011 Walter W. Ristow Essay Prize (Washington Map Society) for his article on 'Utility and Aesthetic: The Function and Subjectivity of Two Fifteenth Century Portolan Charts'.  Kevin is supervised by Dr Stefano Cracolici, Reader in Italian.

(3 Nov 2011)

Dr Martina King (Göttingen University) awarded 2-year External Research Fellowship of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft collaborating with Professor Nicholas Saul (German)

Dr Martina King (Göttingen University) has been awarded a two-year External Research Fellowship of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Council) to research and write at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures in Durham from 2012-2014. She will be working with Professor Nicholas Saul (German) on a project entitled Die Ordnung des Infektiösen - zur Transformation bakteriologischen Wissens durch die Literatur der Moderne (The Order of the Infectious - On the Transformation of Bacteriological Knowledge in Modernist Literature), and will also become an Affiliate of the Durham Centre for Medical Humanities.

(2 Sep 2011)

Sarah Moss, Modern Languages alumna from 2008, has an article published in The Burlington Magazine

Fantômas: by Juan Gris

Since graduating from Modern Languages in 2008, Sarah Moss has, until recently, been working for an Events Management company using her French language skills in managing Shell's global motorsport hospitality programmes [Grand Prix].  Despite her busy schedule she has also found time to produce an article, based in her undergraduate dissertation, for The Burlington Magazine entitled 'Le Vrai et le Faux' in Juan Gris's 'The table' (1914).  This is the world's leading monthly publication devoted to the fine and decorative arts.

(1 Sep 2011)

Professor Daniel Newman joins Inside Story on Aljazeera TV

Daniel Newman, Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, joins Inside Story on Aljazeera TV to discuss the the decision to stop the live broadcasts of Hosni Mubarak's trial in Egypt

(17 Aug 2011)

New Lecturers in Hispanic Studies from October 2011: Francisco Hernández-Adrián and Yarí Pérez Marín

The School of Modern Languages & Cultures is delighted to welcome Francisco-J Hernández Adrián and Yarí Pérez Marín to the Department of Hispanic Studies from October 2011.

Francisco-J Hernández Adrián is currently employed as Assistant Professor of Romance Studies at Duke University, USA.  His research interests include: 20th Century Latin American Literature / Caribbean and (Pen)Insular Avant-Gardes / Atlantic Studies / Visual Theories / Queer-Gender Theories / Colonialism / Ethical Philosophy.

Yarí Pérez Marín is currently employed as Assistant Professor in Hispanic Studies at Northwestern University, USA.  Her research interests include colonial Latin American literature and culture, Caribbean literature, history of science and film studies.

(10 Aug 2011)

AHRC Network Funding awarded to Professor Andrea Noble and Dr Ed Welch

Professor Andrea Noble and Dr Ed Welch have been successful in obtaining AHRC Network Funding.  Their project is called Photography and the Transnational Politics of Affect and it aims to understand how the photographic image is a vehicle for the translation of affect across diverse cultures in both contemporary and historical perspective, and how the photographic image functions as a vehicle for establishing transnational emotional communities with the potential for prompting political action.

(4 Jul 2011)

Professor David Cowling appointed next Director of Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies

David Cowling has been appointed the next Director of the Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies.  His international stature in the field of late medieval and early modern studies of metaphor, and recently completed and highly successful term as Head of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, will give IMRS an increasingly high profile at this very exciting period of its development. 

(14 Jun 2011)

Durham MA in Translation Studies joins the EMT Network

Durham MA in Translation Studies secured membership of the European Master's in Translation Network (EMT), which enables Durham to award a high-quality MA degree recognised by the European Commission.  Further details of the network and a list of members are available at:

(30 May 2011)

New Lecturer in German from September 2011: Dr Claudia Nitschke

The School of Modern Languages and the German Department are pleased to announce that Dr Claudia Nitschke will be joining us as Lecturer in German from 2011-2012. Dr Nitschke, currently at the University of Oxford, specialises in modern German literature and culture from Romanticism to Modernism. Her latest book, on images of fatherhood in German literature, will appear in 2012 with Niemeyer (Tübingen)'.

(19 Apr 2011)

Exhibition curated by Dr Edward Welch to open in Manchester on Friday 8 April

An exhibition curated by Dr Edward Welch from the School of Modern Languages and Cultures and his colleague Dr Joe McGonagle (University of Manchester) opens on Friday 8 April at Manchester's Cornerhouse. New Cartographies: Algeria-France-UK features work by ten Algerian, French and British artists exploring Algeria's complex relationship with France, its war-ravaged recent history and its changing geopolitical role as the 50th anniversary of its independence approaches. Featuring a variety of media including video, maps, photographs of the disappeared, documentary photography and installation - the free exhibition will run until June 5. It is part of a research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The artists include:

  • Algerian photographer Omar D, who documents the lives and traces of the disappeared during the Algerian civil war.
  • French photojournalist Sophie Elbaz, who explores her family's Sephardic Jewish origins in Algeria.
  • Algerian Amina Menia who has made a series of large scale photo-monuments to commemorate those killed during the Algerian War.
  • British documentary and fine art photographer John Perivolaris, who documents a month-long photographic and multimedia journey from the UK to Algeria.

More details of the exhibition can be found on the Cornerhouse website:

Go to to view a video trailer for the show.

(5 Apr 2011)

Professor Saul and Professor Cairns nominated to Modern Languages sub-panel of Hefce Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2011-2014

Professor Lucille Cairns (French) and Professor Nicholas Saul (German) of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham have both been nominated as members of the REF 2014 sub-panel 28 (Modern Languages). 

No other University save Oxford has two representatives in the panel.

(1 Mar 2011)

Barricelli Book Prize: Professor Nicholas Saul

The Barricelli Book Prize, awarded by  the International Conference on Romanticism for the  best book on Romanticism published in 2010, has been awarded to European Romanticism. A Reader, edited by Stephen Prickett, for which the German scholarly  introduction and anthology of texts were provided by Professor Nicholas Saul. The prize will be awarded at the annual meeting of the Society in October in Montreal.

(15 Feb 2011)

British Academy funding success for Professor Lucille Cairns and Dr Andy Byford

Professor Lucille Cairns [French] and Dr Andy Byford [Russian] have both been successful in obtaining British Academy Small Research Grants.

Lucille Cairns' research project focuses on Francophone Jewish Writers Dwelling In/On Israel.

Andy Byford's research project focuses on Science of the Child in Late Imperial & Early Soviet Russia, 1881-1936.

(15 Feb 2011)

Dr Dario Tessicini awarded I Tatti Fellowship for 2011-12

Dr Dario Tessicini, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Italian at Durham University, has been successful in obtaining an I Tatti Fellowship funded by The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies from 1 September 2011 - 31 August 2012.  He intends to further his research project during this Fellowship: Before Galileo: astronomy in Italy at the end of the sixtenth-century

(4 Feb 2011)

Book Launch [19 January 2011] - MLAC staff showcase their latest publications

Come and join staff in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at a book launch to celebrate their research publications completed over the last two years.  The launch will take place in ER207, between 4pm and 6pm on Wednesday 19 January 2011.  Refreshments will be served.

(17 Jan 2011)

MLAC is offering three AHRC-funded studentships through the AHRC Block Grant Partnership scheme for academic year 2011/12

MLAC will be offering three AHRC-funded studentships through the Block Grant Partnership scheme in 2011/12: a PhD studentship in Photography Studies, a Research Preparation Masters studentship in Photography Studies, and a Professional Preparation Masters studentship in Translation Studies. AHRC awards are open to UK and EU students studying full- or part-time. They cover tuition fees and provide maintenance for UK students, and cover fees only for EU students. Further information about the AHRC postgraduate awards can be found here. The PPM in Translation Studies is open to UK and EU students applying to study the School's MA in Translation Studies. The RPM in Photography Studies is open to students applying either to study the School's MA in the Photographic Image, or to pursue an MA by Research in the domain of Photography Studies.

(17 Jan 2011)

Babel - you can now find the latest newsletter now on the School alumni pages 

(22 Dec 2010)

Dr Stefano Cracolici has been successful in obtaining a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship

Dr Stefano Cracolici of Dept of Italian has been successful in obtaining a 6-month Visiting Professorship from the Leverhulme Trust.  Dr Isabella Lazzarini is a Reader in Medieval History and Palaeography at the Università degli studi del Molise in Isernia, Italy.  Dr Lazzarini will be in Durham from January to June 2011 to collaborate on the configuration of the Durham Gonzaga Archive Project as well as delivering both workshops and lectures through the Institute of Advanced Study and the Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

(18 Nov 2010)

Inaugural Lecture: Memory and Metamorphosis in French Occupation Narratives

Professor Christopher Lloyd, Dept of French, gave his inaugural lecture during October 2010.  The lecture, entitled Memory and Metamorphosis in French Occupation Naratives, can be found in the link below.

(18 Nov 2010)

Two PhD Scholarships to be funded from alumna donation

Modern Languages alumna, Joanna Barker and her husband Graham, have made a generous donation to fund 2 PhD Studentships researching within Modern Languages, over a three-year period commencing in October 2011. 

MLAC Studentships cover the cost of tuition fees at the UK/EU rate, and include a grant of £7,000 per year (comprised of a stipend of £6,500 and a research allowance of £500). They also include a package of undergraduate teaching across the three years of the studentship. They are open to UK and EU students planning to study full-time.  The successful candidates will undertake doctoral research within one of, or a combination of, the following Departments: French, German, Hispanic Studies, Italian and Russian.  They will take up their studentships on 1 October 2011 or as soon thereafter as posible, for a period of three years.

Applications should be made online here, including a 500-word research proposal.  Candidates should clearly specify on the application form for which award they wish to be considered.  The deadline is 28 February 2011.

(18 Nov 2010)

Postgraduate Study in the School of Modern Languages & Cultures at Durham University - Open Afternoon

Students interested in pursuing postgraduate study are encouraged to come and have an informal chat with staff in Modern Languages from 3pm on Wednesday 24 November 2010 in A56, Elvet Riverside I.  Come and see the wide range of MA courses offered within the School.

(18 Oct 2010)

CFLS takes part in European Day of Languages at Clayport

The Centre for Foreign Language Study is taking part in the European Day of Languages at Durham Clayport Library on Sunday the 26th of September from 2pm onwards.


We have free taster sessions in Arabic, Japanese and Russian, as well as refresher sessions in French, German and Spanish from 2 to 4.30. Why not get a taste of learning a language before enrolling on the LFA programme:


Or come to one of MLAC's language cafés from 4.30 to 6.00: Arabic, French, German and Spanish

(21 Sep 2010)

New publication by Dr Andrew Beresford of the Department of Hispanic Studies

Dr Andrew Beresford, Head of the Department of Hispanic Studies, has recently published a book entitled The Severed Breast: The Legends of Saints Agatha and Lucy in Medieval Castilian Literature (Newark, Delaware: Juan de la Cuesta).

(9 Sep 2010)

New Publication by Dr Diego Santos Sanchez of the Department of Hispanic Studies

Diego Santos Sanchez, Research Associate in the Theatre Censorship in Spain project has recently published a book on the use of theatre in language teaching: Teatro y enseñanza de lenguas (Madrid: Arcolibros).

(13 Aug 2010)

Dr Stefano Cracolici awarded BARDA by The British Academy

Dr Stefano Cracolici, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Italian at Durham University, has been successful in obtaining BARDA funding to undertake research for his latest project - Arcadian Conversations: Faustina Maratti Zappi (1679-1745), Her Poetry and Her Literary Salon in Rome.

(4 Aug 2010)

Leverhulme Visiting Fellowships available for post-doctoral academic researchers to visit Durham

Durham University is in receipt of Leverhulme funding to support 2 Visiting Fellows.  The scheme is offered to post-doctoral academic researchers (normally with no more than eight years post-doctoral experience) to visit Durham for the purpose of research and collaboration. The fellow, who must not be a UK citizen, must be permanently resident in any country other than the UK. Visiting Fellows are encouraged to give lectures and seminars and to participate in the intellectual life of the institution.

Prospective candidates should be requested to submit a two-page cv and proposal to the relevant Deputy Head of Faculty (Research) by 31 October 2010.  Proposals should comprise a scheme of research, of no more than 1000 words, including research context, methodology, programme, and a statement of strategic fit with and contribution to existing research strengths at Durham University.

(4 Aug 2010)

New members of staff welcomed into the School of Modern Languages & Cultures

The Department of French is pleased to welcome two new members of staff for the forthcoming academic year.  Dr Tom Wynn, currently employed as a Lecturer, joins us from the University of Exeter and specialises in early modern theatre and fiction.  Dr Luke Sunderland, currently employed as a Research Fellow, joins us from the University of Cambridge.

The Department of Hispanic Studies welcomes Dr Kerstin Oloff, currently employed as a sessional lecturer at the University of Toronto in Canada.  Kerstin specialises in 20th-century pan-Caribbean and Latin American Literature.

The Department of German welcomes Dr Aine McMurtry, currently employed as a Teaching Fellow at the University of St Andrews.  Aine specialises in experimental modes of writing in German literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

(4 Aug 2010)

New Publication from Dr Stefano Cracolici of the Department of Italian

Dr Stefano Cracolici's latest book 'Il ritratto di Archigynia.  Filippo Nuvoloni (1441-1478) e il suo Dyalogo d'amore' has just been published with publishers Leo S. Olschki in Italy.

(29 Jun 2010)

Dr. Nicholas Roberts gives Venezuelan Embassy talk on Eugenio Montejo

'The Poetic World of Eugenio Montejo'

Fri 4th June, 7:30pm
Bolivar Hall
54 Grafton Way
London, W1T 5DL


Eugenio Montejo (1938-2008) is arguably the most significant poetic voice to emerge not just from Venezuela but from Latin America in general in the latter half of the twentieth century. Dr Nicholas Roberts, lecturer in Hispanic Studies at Durham University and whose recently-published Poetry and Loss constitutes the first book-length study in English on Montejo's work, presents a talk on the poetic world of this seminal poet, looking at the ways in which Montejo tackles a sense of personal and national loss in twentieth-century Venezuela: a proud inheritor of traditions, yet aware of the need for renewal, it is poetry that he identifies as the space where hope is to be found.

(27 May 2010)

Routes into Languages event held in Newcastle on Tuesday 11 May

A very successful Routes into Languages event was held in Newcastle on Tuesday 11 May 2010. A lot of the students helping out were Durham MLAC students (Routes ambassadors and regular students).

The translation cards they used were done thanks to Marcela Cazzoli Goeta and Laetitia Vedrenne, who produced the translation. These cards will now be in every Easyjet in-flight magazine going to France and Spain!

The event was also on the news.



(27 May 2010)

New Publication from Dr Caitríona Ní Dhúill of the Department of German

The latest monograph from Dr Caitríona Ní Dhúill entitled Sex in Imagined Spaces: Gender and Utopia from More to Bloch has just been published

(30 Apr 2010)

New Publication from Dr Stefano Cracolici of the Department of Italian

The latest book co-authored by Dr Stefano Cracolici has just been published and is entitled La Letteratura a Siena nel Quattrocento

(30 Apr 2010)

The Seventeenth Century confirmed as world-leading journal

In the recently-published definitive ranking of all the world's major academic journals, ERA2010, the interdisciplinary journal The Seventeenth Century has been graded 'A', the highest grading given to any journal, in any language, in its field.  This confirms its status as world leader.  The Seventeenth Century, an independent journal founded and edited by Professor Richard Maber of the Department of French, is currently published by Manchester University Press.

(19 Apr 2010)

Professor Daniel Newman awarded Leverhulme Research Fellowship

Daniel Newman, Professor of Arabic in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for 12 months to conduct research on "Rifa'a al-Tahtawi and the Politics of Language".

(14 Apr 2010)

Catriona Firth, PhD student in German receives a highly prestigious one-year postdoctoral fellowship in Berlin

Catriona Firth, a PhD student in German and currently a teaching fellow at the University of Bristol has been awarded a highly prestigious one-year postdoctoral fellowship by the Studienstiftung des Abgeordnetenhauses von Berlin. This will allow her to spend a year in Berlin researching a project on representations of 1970s German terrorism in contemporary film and fiction.

(2 Mar 2010)

New Publication from Professor Carlo Caruso

Professor Carlo Caruso's latest edited book Diomede Borghesi: Orazioni accademiche has just been published.

(11 Feb 2010)

New Publication: Essays in honour of Professor Richard G Maber

A collection of essays in honour of Richard Maber, Collaboration and Interdisciplinarity in the Republic of Letters, has just been published by Manchester University Press.  Richard joined the Department of French at Durham University in 1966 and, although retired, is still with us today.  Since his retirement in 2008 he has continued to undertake research and to represent the School at alumni events both in Durham and further afield.  The book has been edited by one of Richard's former postgraduate students, Professor Paul Scott, who now works in Kansas University

(11 Feb 2010)

Postgraduate Funding in MLAC 2010/11

(1 Feb 2010) » More about MLAC announces a range of funding opportunities for Postgraduate Study

Professor Andrea Noble to give a lecture at the British Museum

Professor Andrea Noble will be giving a lecture entitled 'The corpse of Emiliano Zapata: the story of a photograph' at the British Museum.  This lecture relates to the current exhibition 'Revolution on paper: Mexican prints 1910-1960'.

On Thursday 10 April 1919, the charismatic revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata was assassinated.  His corpse was slung over the back of a mule, transported to the state capital, where it was officially identified, embalmed, and then photographed, before being subject to a hasty burial. Like Zapata himself, the photograph has had a lively posthumous career in Mexican cultural history.

Andrea tells the story of the death and afterlife of Emiliano Zapata through the making and dissemination of this fascinating photograph, exploring its reproduction in the national press in 1919, and more recent re-workings of the image that testify to Zapata's mythic status as a latter-day secular saint.

(26 Jan 2010)

Dr Anissa Daoudi successful in obtaining funding from the British Academy International Partnership Scheme

Dr Daoudi's research focuses on the global growth of the language used on the internet and moblle phone, known as computer-mediated communication (CMC) in the Arab world. The aim of the project is to assess the extent to which this new language is contributing to the emergence of a new subculture, providing its users with a new linguistic identity. Dr Daoudi's primary co-researcher is Dr Al-Issa from the American University of Sharjah.

(21 Jan 2010)

Modern Languages and Cultures Careers Fair on Wednesday 27 January 2010

Find out more about where your language skills can take you at this exciting event where you can meet representatives from a range of careers.
All talks take place in ER140 between 1.15pm and 5.30pm.

(21 Jan 2010)

Professor Lucille Cairns awarded 'Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques'

Professor Lucille Cairns, Department of French, has been made Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques in recognition of her work in the promotion of French language and culture in the UK, including her role as President of the Association of University Professors and Heads of French.

(12 Jan 2010)

CFLS offers advanced French course 'Les Subtilités du Français'

Following the success of our new advanced French course 'Les Subtilités du Français' in term 1, the CFLS is offering the course again, starting in January 2010. The format remains the same but the contents will continue to expand students' knowledge of vocabulary, idioms and grammar, as well as their understanding of contemporary French culture, and this new course is therefore also suitable of those who attended it in term 1.

For more information and an application form, please see our website.

(9 Dec 2009)

Dr Alastair Renfrew to become editor of Slavonica

Dr Alastair Renfrew will next year assume editorship of the leading international journal of Russian, Slavonic and East European Studies Slavonica, which publishes material on language, linguistics, history, politics, social issues, religion, music, culture and the arts across the full spectrum of Slavonic languages. Dr Andy Byford will also join the editorial team as Reviews Editor. Head of School Professor David Cowling commented, "I am delighted that Slavonica is to be edited from Durham, not least because this is a further demonstration of the vitality of our department of Russian, whose recent growth has made this initiative possible."

(20 Nov 2009)

New Spanish Beginners Class offered by LFA

Due to high demand, the CFLS is opening a new Spanish Beginners' class on Thursdays from 6.30 to 8.00, starting either the 5th or 11th of November (depending on enrolment figures).
If you wish to register, please bring an application form and payment to A33 in Elvet Riverside during office hours (9 to 1 & 2 to 5).
General information on the LFA programme (including application forms, fees and course contents) is available on the website.

(30 Oct 2009)

Ventura Pons Screenings at Durham

VENTURA PONS SCREENINGS to take place at Palace Green PG21 at 7.15 PM on the following days:

Ocaña, retrat intermitent (Ocaña, An Intermittent Portrait) (1978)
Spanish with English subtitles

Amic/Amat (Beloved/Friend) (1998)
Catalan with English subtitles

Anita no perd el tren (Anita Takes a Chance) (2000)
Catalan with English subtitles

(29 Oct 2009) » More about Ventura Pons Screenings at Durham

Ventura Pons to give talk in Durham, Monday 25 January 2010

MONDAY 25 JANUARY 2010 5.30 PM Ventura Pons, one of the most important and prolific Spanish film directors of the democratic period will give a talk in Durham (Elvet Riverside 141) entitled 'Looking for Film in Literature'. Followed by cava reception (sponsored by Routes into Spanish) and Spanish café at the Gala Theatre. 8.30 PM GALA THEATRE Exclusive screening: Barcelona, un mapa (Barcelona, a map) (2007), never shown before in the UK. Free of charge for Durham students who attend the talk (up to 30 – first come, first served). Free tickets are sponsored by Routes into Spanish.

(29 Oct 2009)

Professor Lucille Cairns to give paper at inaugural event of 'Trauma Fiction History' series

The inaugural event in the 'Trauma Fiction History' series, organised by Royal Holloway, will be held on 18 November at 5.00 pm at 2 Gower Street, London WC1E 6DP. Colin Davis will introduce the session with a short paper, 'Why Trauma?', outlining the significance of trauma studies for work in the Humanities and laying out some of the aims of the series. This will be followed by a paper by Professor Lucille Cairns, Durham University, entitled 'Trauma and Testimony: the Case of Myriam Anissimov’.

(22 Oct 2009)

Durham French Café is back at the Gala Theatre

Durham French Café at the Gala Theatre is back! Come and practise your French in a relaxed atmosphere. Everybody is welcome!
12 October, 16 November and 14 December between 6pm and 8pm.

(14 Oct 2009)

Experts gather to debate crisis images

Photographers, artists and academics will discuss the role of images in war and disaster at a conference this month.

The Humanising Photography conference will bring experts from around the world to Durham University to debate how photographs ask people to recognise fellow human beings in moments of crisis – including war, famine and disease.

Organised by the Durham Centre for Advanced Photography Studies, the conference will run from Friday to Sunday, September 25 to 27.

Among the speakers will be renowned Argentine photographer and human rights activist Marcelo Brodsky and Los Angeles Times photographer Luis Sinco.

Mr Sinco’s picture of Corporal James Miller, of Kentucky, with a cigarette hanging from his lips, his nose bloodied and face dirtied, has become an iconic image of the Iraq war.

The centre was founded in 2005 to promote research into photographic images in cultures and societies.

(30 Sep 2009)

MLAC participates in European Day of Languages in Durham

Members of staff from MLAC, representing the Centre for Foreign Language Studies and Routes into Languages, took part in the European Day of Languages event organised by Durham County Council's International Relations team and Europe Direct North East on Friday 25 September. With the event taking place in Durham Town Hall, MLAC's representatives had a very visible presence, offering sample 'lessons' and activities, and answering many queries and enquiries from members of the public. The result is likely to be increased enrolments on CFLS courses, as well as wider exposure to possible workplace-based contracts.

Following on from this, on Saturday 26 September, at the City Clayport Library, MLAC once more had a strong presence, fielding yet more enquiries.

Over the two days MLAC (CFLS and Routes into Languages) successfully heightened its profile and the awareness amongst the public of the work we do and the classes we offer.

(28 Sep 2009)

Professor Terence Cave at the Literature, History, Theory Research Group

Professor Terence Cave will speak on Wednesday 28th October in the usual 12-2 seminar slot. Terence will talk about his Mignon project as a problem in the research methodology of cultural history; this will be followed by discussion.

Terence's project ¬ Mignon's Afterlife ¬ is a study of the various ways in
which the character Mignon, from Goethe's novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, is transformed in nineteenth- and twentieth-century European literature, theatre, song and opera; see

Later on – 5pm, after research committee – there will be the opportunity for a more informal chat with Terence over a cup of tea or glass of wine. Graduate students and colleagues are warmly invited.

(15 Sep 2009)

New Publication from Professor Nicholas Saul: Cambridge Companion to German Romanticism

The late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries saw an extraordinary flowering of arts and culture in Germany which produced many of the world’s finest writers, artists, philosophers and composers. This volume offers students and specialists an authoritative introduction to that dazzling cultural phenomenon, now known collectively as German Romanticism. Individual chapters not only introduce the reader to individual writers such as Friedrich Schlegel, Novalis, Eichendorff, Heine, Hoffmann, Kleist, Schiller and Tieck, but also treat key concepts of Romantic music, painting, philosophy, gender and cultural anthropology, science and criticism in concise and lucid language. All German quotations are translated to make this volume fully accessible to a wide audience interested in how Romanticism evolved across Europe. Brief biographies and bibliographies are supplemented by a list of primary and secondary further reading in both English and German.

(20 Jul 2009)

CFLS offers new extra-curricular language courses for 2009-2010

The Centre for Foreign Language Study is now accepting applications for its 'Languages for All' courses starting in October 2009. These courses - in a wide variety of languages and from beginners to advanced levels - are open to staff, students, and members of the general public.

The Centre is also now offering the following new extra-curricular language courses in 2009-2010 through the Languages for All programme:

Arabic Lower Intermediate
Les Subtilités du Français (for proficient users)
Greek Beginners Plus
Italian Intermediate
Mandarin Intermediate
Polish Beginners Plus
Russian Lower Intermediate

Our full range of classes on offer and further information are available on the Languages for All website:

(25 Jun 2009)

1 July 2009: Graduation Ceremony for students from Modern Languages & Cultures

The ceremony for students graduating from the School of Modern Languages & Cultures takes place at 2pm on Wednesday 1 July 2009 in Durham Cathedral. From 4pm graduands and their families are invited to join staff from the School in celebrating their success. Drinks will be served in Elvet Riverside, rooms 206 and 207.

(24 Jun 2009)

New publication from Prof Andreas Musolff: Metaphor and Discourse

Contributors to Metaphor and Discourse present a collection of work on the functioning of metaphor in public discourse and related discourse areas from a broadly cognitive-linguistic background. Discourse scholars have for a long time been concerned with the methodological difficulties of identifying, annotating, and analysing metaphors, as well as with the complex relations between the embodiment of metaphorical thought on the one hand and the socio-cultural grounding of metaphorical communication on the other. A substantial body of work has grown out of these concerns over the last two decades. The present book provides a state-of-the-art overview of this lively research field, and furthermore contributes to debates in Cognitive Linguistics (and beyond) regarding tensions between conceptualist idealizations and empirically observable variation.

Kathryn Banks, John Barnden, Jonathan Charteris-Black, Paul Chilton, David Cowling, Christ'l De Landtsheer, Roslyn M. Frank, Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr., Honesto Herrera, Veronika Koller, Zoltán Kövecses, Nelya Koteyko, Julia E. Lonergan, Andreas Musolff, Brigitte Nerlich, Gerard Steen, Michael White, Jeffery Zavadil, Jörg Zinken

(24 Jun 2009)

Department of Hispanic Studies awarded a Don Quijote Scholarship for 2009

Dr Santiago Fouz-Hernandez of the Dept of Hispanic Studies has been successful in obtaining a Don Quijote Scholarship for a student to undertake a 2-week intensive Spanish language course in a school in either Spain or Mexico.

(18 Jun 2009)

Mrs Marianna Taymanova gives an interview on Russia's Channel 5 programme 'INTELLECT'

This is a Russian television broadcast of an interview with Marianna Taymanova, Department of Russian, shown recently on the programme 'INTELLECT' on Russia's Channel 5. The programme is about the system of education in Britain, specifically about Durham University, its reputation, and the Durham Russian Department. The discussion also draws comparisons between British and Russian higher education. The main thrust of Marianna's argument is that, although the Russian university education is broader in general terms, Durham and other top British universities focus on the development of analytical skills rather than amassing facts and information, and aim to develop 'personality' in the broadest sense. Students in the UK system are more likely to graduate with an ability to think for themselves, which is particularly important as they go on to choose and develop their careers.

(9 Jun 2009)

The Department of Italian to host the first ever N.I.C.E. Italian Film Week to be held in Durham

The Department of Italian, at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, Durham University, is hosting the first ever N.I.C.E. Italian Film Week to be held in Durham

The University has teamed up with Grazia Santini and Viviana del Bianco of New Italian Cinema Events to present the latest selection of new Italian films. All of the films are in Italian and are subtitled in English.

For over 15 years, the New Italian Cinema Events (N.I.C.E.) has brought contemporary Italian films to audiences outside Italy. This year’s films have been shown around the world in San Francisco, New York, Amsterdam, and St Petersburg. Dr Federici of Durham University said “I’m delighted that these great films are coming to Durham. It’s a unique chance for people to see the pick of new Italian cinema right here at Durham University.

Films projected will be Mar Nero [Black Sea] by Federico Bondi, La ragazza del lago [The Girl by the Lake] by Andrea Molaioli, Lascia perdere, Johnny [Don't Waste Your Time Johnny] by Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Lezioni di cioccolato [Lessons in Chocolate] by Claudio Cupellini, Una notte [A Night] by Toni D'Angelo, Cover Boy - L'ultima rivoluzione [Cover Boy - The Last Revolution] by Carmine Amoroso, Il resto della notte [The Rest of the Night] by Francesco Munzi.

The N.I.C.E. Italian Film Week is organized by the Department of Italian and is supported by the Italian Consulate in Manchester and Routes into Languages.

WHERE: The screenings will be in room ER201, Elvet Riverside building, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3JT. Pay and Display on street parking.

WHEN: 8-12 June 2009, projections and events run from 6.00 pm to 9.45 pm.

CONTACT: Dr Federico Federici, 0191 334 3425 (office), 07956 429429 (mobile)

For more information, see:

(14 May 2009)

Conference and Workshop in Trujillo, Venezuela on Eugenio Montejo - Guest Speaker Dr N Roberts

A conference and workshop on the work of the Venezuelan poet and essayist Eugenio Montejo (1938-2008) has been organised atThe Universidad de los Andes, Trujillo, Venezuela to coincide with a paper to be given by guest speaker Dr. Nicholas Roberts of the Department of Hispanic Studies. The conference will take place on 14 April 2009.

(19 Mar 2009)

New Courses Offered by CFLS

The Centre for Foreign Language Study is offering new courses in Easter Term, open to both University members and the general public. Courses include French, German, and Spanish, designed specifically for people looking to holiday in countries where these languages are spoken.

(19 Mar 2009)

Durham Graduates have books published

Ruth Sharp, who graduated from MLAC (French, German, and Spanish) in 2005 has had two books published through HarperCollins. The books 'Spanish Book Club' 1 and 2 are activity-based workbooks aimed at English-speaking children (aged 7-9 or 9-11) who want to boost their Spanish at home.

Also, Oliver Balch, a graduate from 1998, has written a book entitled 'Viva South America!', which is part travelogue, part social commentary.

(10 Mar 2009)

Edition in honour of Professor David Baguley edited by Dr C Dousteyssier-Khoze and Dr E Welch

Naturalisme et excès visuels: pantomime, parodie, image, fête. Mélanges en l'honneur de David Baguley

Dans le sillage des travaux incontournables de David Baguley sur Zola et le Naturalisme, le recueil intitulé Naturalisme et excès visuels: pantomime, parodie, image, fête. Mélanges en l’honneur de David Baguley cherche à éclairer l’esthétique naturaliste d’une lumière nouvelle, à travers le concept d’excès. Un excès naturaliste qui devient synonyme, tout à tour ou simultanément, de théâtralisation, de surcodage, de débordement des cadres génériques et/ou littéraires. À l’intérieur comme à l’extérieur du mouvement littéraire naturaliste, il s’agit de mettre en évidence certaines énergies naturalistes à travers quatre grandes pistes ou articulations qui n’ont été que peu abordées ensemble par la recherche: celles de pantomime, de parodie, d’image et de fête. Chacune de ces facettes va, à sa façon, permettre d’affirmer ou de réaffirmer la prédominance de l’excès, du corporel, du visuel, inscrits au cœur d’une esthétique naturaliste foncièrement moderne.

(6 Feb 2009)

Five more members of staff appointed to the AHRC Peer Review College

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures is pleased to announce that five more of its staff members have been appointed to the AHRC Peer Review College: Dr Stefano Cracolici (Department of Italian); Dr Federico Federici (Department of Italian); Dr Daniel Newman (Department of Arabic); Dr Michael Thompson (Department of Hispanic Studies); and Dr Edward Welch (Department of French).

Staff from the School already appointed to the Peer Review College are: Professor Lucille Cairns (French); Professor Jan Clark (French); Professor David Cowling (French); Professor Jonathan Long (German); Professor Andrea Noble (Hispanic Studies) and Professor Nicholas Saul (German).

(3 Feb 2009)

Durham launches 'Class of 2009' Postgraduate Scholarships

Durham University has announced the launch of a new scholarship scheme targetted at promising Durham finalists. The scholarships, worth £2000 towards the cost of College accommodation, are designed to encourage final-year undergraduates to stay on in Durham and pursue postgraduate work. Closing date for applications is 27 February 2009. As well applying for a place, candidates must also complete a separate application form for the scholarships. Full details can be found on the MLAC postgraduate funding pages and by following the link below.

(29 Jan 2009)

French café launched in Durham

MLAC launched Durham’s first French Café earlier this month at the Gala Theatre. The café is part of a European Union funded project which has seen Language Cafés successfully set up all over Europe. On 9 January, students and staff from MLAC met up with other Durham Francophiles to celebrate their love of all things French in the relaxed atmosphere of the Gala’s Intervals café. The French Café is set to run once a month until March and is an opportunity for native French speakers and anyone interested in France and French to meet together for an hour or two to speak French.

The next French Cafés will be held 6pm to 8pm on Monday February 9 and Monday 16 March. The Cafés are timed to coincide with the Gala’s Monday World Cinema series and on Monday 9 February the French Café will be followed by a showing of the film, Bienvenue Chez Les Ch’tis (12A), the comical story of a post office manager from Provence who is relocated to a small town in the north. All are welcome, so do come along!

(27 Jan 2009)

Mrs Carla Singh, former Head of the Department of Italian

With great sadness we receive news that Carla Singh, a former colleague and Head of the Department of Italian, died on Friday 23rd January. Carla had been a Durham student, and started her academic career at Durham University as a Language Assistant in 1985. Across the years she progressed to the positions of Language Instructor and Senior Language Instructor, eventually serving as Head of Italian until her retirement (2005). The Department of Italian and the School of Modern Languages and Cultures of Durham University join her family and friends in paying a heartfelt tribute to the memory of a respected and worthy colleague.

(26 Jan 2009)

Honorary Degree for Dr David Constantine

David Constantine, who lectured on German Literature for twelve years in Modern Languages, was recently awarded the accolade of an honorary DLitt by Durham University. David, on whom Chancellor Bill Bryson conferred the honour in Durham Cathedral for outstanding achievements in German research, literary translation and English poetry, wrote several pathbreaking books on the German poet Friedrich Hölderlin and a noted biography of the eccentric Sir William Hamilton. He is also one of the leading translators into English of French and Germany poetry, from Goethe (his version of Faust Part Two is due from Penguin in the Spring) and Kleist to Michaux and Jaccottet. David is however perhaps best known today as one of our most distinguished contemporary English poets, with prizewinning collections from A Brightness to Cast Shadows (1980) to Something for the Ghosts (2002). Himself translated into German (by the Wallstein Verlag) and often featured in journals such as DIE ZEIT, David has followed in Ted Hughes’s footsteps as editor of Modern Poetry in Translation. You can read David’s laudation here:
and discover more about him here:

(19 Jan 2009)

Van Mildert College announces Postgraduate Research Scholarship

Van Mildert College Trust invites applications for a 3-year Research Scholarship to commence in October 2009. The Scholarship offers tuition fees, a living allowance of £10,000 per year, a research allowance of £1,000, and complimentary accommodation in Van Mildert College, one of the 12 Colleges of the University. Applications are invited from UK, EU and international students. Applicants should hold, or be expecting to obtain, a First Class degree (or equivalent). Applications should comprise a CV and a research proposal of 1500 words, and should be submitted to the Master of the College, Prof. Patrick O'Meara. The deadline for applications is 14 February 2009.

(22 Dec 2008)

Success for the School of Modern Languages and Cultures in RAE2008

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures has achieved significant success in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. Progress since the 2001 RAE is particularly evident in the departments of Arabic, German and Hispanic Studies, all graded 4 in 2001, which are now among the top departments in the country. French, graded 5 in 2001, has consolidated its position, while Italian and Russian, entered for the first time in 2008, have demonstrated a clear majority of internationally recognised research activity, with some activity in both judged to be world-leading.

When ranked against the sector on the basis of the proportion of 4* (world-leading) and 3* (internationally excellent) research activity, Durham's language departments occupy the following positions:

German: 1st equal
Arabic: 4th
Hispanic Studies: 4th equal
Russian: 9th equal
French: 12th equal
Italian 15th equal

Professor David Cowling, Head of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, commented: 'Durham's results are particularly pleasing when viewed in terms of our decision to submit 100% of our eligible staff across all units of assessment, which gives an accurate picture of the excellence of my colleagues' research right across the School.'

(19 Dec 2008)

Latest Publication from the Durham Modern Languages Series

Writers in Conflict in Sixeteenth-Century France: Essays in Honour of Malcolm Quanton, edited by Elizabeth Vinestock and David Foster is the latest offering from the Durham Modern Languages Series.

(16 Dec 2008)

MLAC success in British Academy awards

Professor Jan Clarke [Dept of French] and Dr Daniel Newman [Dept of Arabic] have both been successful in obtaining Overseas Conference Awards from the British Academy to attend conferences in 2009

(16 Dec 2008)

New Publication: Photography: Theoretical Snapshots

The latest publication from the Durham Centre for Advanced Photography Studies is entitled Photography: Theoretical Snapshots. Edited by Professor Jonathan Long [Dept of German], Professor Andrea Noble [Dept of Spanish] and Dr Ed Welch [Dept of French] and published by Routledge.

Over the past 25 years, photography has moved to centre-stage in the study of visual culture and has established itself in numerous disciplines. This trend has brought with it a diversification in approaches to the study of the photographic image.

Photography: Theoretical Snapshots offers exciting perspectives on photography theory today from some of the world’s leading critics and theorists. It introduces new means of looking at photographs, with topics including:

a community-based understanding of Spencer Tunick’s controversial installations; the tactile and auditory dimensions of photographic viewing; snapshot photography and the use of photography in human rights discourse

Photography: Theoretical Snapshots also addresses the question of photography history, revisiting the work of some of the most influential theorists such as Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, and the October group, re-evaluating the neglected genre of the carte-de-visite photograph, and addressing photography’s wider role within the ideologies of modernity. The collection opens with an introduction by the editors, analysing the trajectory of photography studies and theory over the past three decades and the ways in which the discipline has been constituted.

Ranging from the most personal to the most dehumanized uses of photography, from the nineteenth century to the present day, from Latin America to Northern Europe, Photography: Theoretical Snapshots will be of value to all those interested in photography, visual culture, and cultural history.

(16 Dec 2008)

Publication News: Dr Kathryn Banks [Dept of French] has just published an authored book entitled 'Cosmos and Image in the Renaissance: French Love Lyric and Natural-philosophical Poetry'

Renaissance images could be real as well as linguistic. Human beings were often believed to be an image of the cosmos, and the sun an image of God. Kathryn Banks explores the implications of this for poetic language and argues that linguistic images were a powerful tool for rethinking cosmic conceptions. She reassesses the role of natural-philosophical poetry in France, focusing upon its most well-known and widely-read exponent, "Guillaume de Saluste Du Bartas". Through a sustained analysis of Maurice Sceve's Delie, Banks also rethinks love lyric's oft-noted use of the beloved as image of the poet. "Cosmos and Image" makes an original contribution to our understanding of Renaissance thinking about the cosmic, the human, and the divine. It also proposes a mode of reading other Renaissance texts, and reflects at length upon the relation of 'literature' to history, to the history of science, and to political turmoil.

(16 Dec 2008)

Russian Department awarded Visiting Professorship Award from The Leverhulme Trust

Professor Vitalii Makhlin from the Dept of Philosophy, Moscow State Pedagogical University has been successful in obtaining funding to make a four-month collaborative research visit to work with Dr Alastair Renfrew

(16 Dec 2008)

Two MLAC MA Scholarships announced for 2009/10

Thanks to a very generous donation by Graham and Joanna Barker, the School of Modern Languages and Cultures is delighted to be able to offer two MA Scholarships for the academic year 2009/10. Joanna is a former Durham Modern Languages student. We will be inviting applications for the new Barker Scholarships alongside the studentships we hope to offer as part of the AHRC's new Block Grant Partnership postgraduate funding scheme. Further details of the Barker Scholarships, and other funding opportunities available in the School, can be found on our postgraduate funding pages.

(10 Dec 2008)

Guidance on postgraduate funding opportunities

Initial guidance on funding opportunities in the School of Modern Languages, including first details on the new AHRC postgraduate funding schemes, is now available on the MLAC postgraduate funding pages.

(1 Dec 2008)

MLAC student runner-up in national undergraduate essay competition

The Society for French Studies has awarded Adam Strowger, a recent graduate in Modern European Languages, the runner-up position in the 2008 R.H. Gapper Undergraduate Essay Competition for an essay entitled 'The relationship between the narrator and the reader in Genet's Journal du voleur'. This essay was submitted as part of the summative assessment for the final-year module FREN3251, taught by Professor David Cowling. The Society described the essay as 'an impressive piece of work at undergraduate level', and congratulated both Adam and the French Department at Durham on the quality of the work submitted to the competition.

(14 Nov 2008)

Catriona Firth to deliver the next Sylvia Naish Lecture at the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies

Catriona Firth has been selected to deliver the next Sylvia Naish Lecture at the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies. Catriona is a postgraduate research student in the School of Modern Languages and is supervised by Professor Jonathan Long and Dr Peter Macardle.

(11 Oct 2008)

Professor Jan Clarke invited to speak at a conference in Williamstown, Massachusetts

Professor Jan Clarke was invited to participate in the conference 'Visions of the Stage: Theater, Art, and Performance in France, 1600-1800', organised by the Clark Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA, in September 2008. Bringing together historians of art, literature, theatre, and culture to explore the complex relationships between the visual and theatrical arts in Ancien Régime and Revolutionary France, Professor Clarke's presentation focused on the unknown artists of the seventeenth-century spectacular stage. This forms part of her current research on the material theatre of seventeenth-century Paris.

(3 Oct 2008)

Dr Daniel Newman wins World Award for Islamic Studies

Dr Daniel Newman, Reader in the Department of Arabic, has won the World Award of the President of the Republic of Tunisia for Islamic Studies for his recent book Muslim Women in Law and Society.

(24 Sep 2008)

MLAC success in AHRC postgraduate competitions

MLAC has had another successful year in the AHRC postgraduate funding competitions. Four students have received funding to study for MAs in the School. Rachael Matthews will be studying for the MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Leighann Lacey for the MA in the Photographic Image. The Russian Department is celebrating a double success for students Rosemari Baker and Max Anley, both of whom will be embarking on MAs by Research.

In the competition for Doctoral Awards, all three of the students put forward by the School secured funding. Tom Allbeson and Mark Sealy will be working on PhDs in photography studies with the members of DCAPS, the photography research centre based in MLAC; and Sonia Vincent-Gill will be starting a PhD on ethnographic film in France, working with Boris Wiseman in the Department of French.

(1 Sep 2008)

French 3rd as MLAC Departments do well in Times Good University Guide 2009

The School's departments continue to do well in the Times Good University Guide (published in June 2008):

French: 3rd
Arabic: 4th
Hispanic Studies: 6th
German: 8th

(27 Jun 2008)

Departments of French and Hispanic Studies amongst the best in The Independent's Good University Guide

In The Independent's Good University Guide, published in April 2008, three Departments in the School of Modern Languages & Cultures were ranked amongst the best in the country: French 5th, Hispanic Studies 6th and German 12th.

(7 May 2008)

INAUGURAL LECTURE: Professor Andreas Musolff - Germany as a Political Body in National Self-Perception

Professor Andreas Musolff will be giving his Inaugural Lecture entitled 'Germany as a Political Body in National Self-Perception' at 5.30pm on Friday 22 February 2008 in Elvet Riverside ER141. All members of the University and the wider public are invited to attend this event which will be followed by refreshments served outside the lecture theatre. There will no be charge for this event. This lecture will explore the political imagery that has been used to refer to Germany -- or parts of it -- as an animal or human body (or parts of it). There is no one central phrase in German expressing this conceptual metaphor, as in English body politic, or in French corps politique. Nonetheless, we can trace back its uses in German to the sixteenth century. Some of its lexical variants, such as Staatskörper, Volkskörper, Nationalkörper appear to be connected to significant changes in the political perception of state and nation. In order to corroborate this hypothesis, the lecture will examine some of the corollaries of the body-state metaphor in historical and present-day texts in detail and discuss the implications for linguistic analysis.

(13 Feb 2008)

AHRC Major Research Funding awarded to Dr Mike Thompson of Department of Hispanic Studies

Dr Michael Thompson of the Department of Hispanic Studies has been awarded funding of c.235K by the AHRC to launch a major research project into Theatre Censorship in Spain (1931-1985). Dr Thompson will be working with Dr Catherine O'Leary of NUI Maynooth.

(5 Feb 2008)

AHRC Research Grant awarded to Dr Ed Welch in the Department of French

Dr Welch and Dr McGonagle (University of Manchester) have been awarded funding of c.164K by the AHRC to launch a major research project on how colonial and post-colonial relations between France and Algeria have been represented since the outbreak of the Algerian War (1954-62).

(5 Feb 2008)

Latest Issue of Babel - the Modern Languages Alumni Newsletter

The latest issue of Babel is now available on the web. This issue contains an invitation to all Modern Language alumni to come and join us for a coffee morning during the 175th anniversary celebrations alumni weekend.

(9 Aug 2007)

Arabic Dept ranked 2nd in The Times Good University Guide

The Arabic Department at Durham University is ranked in 2nd place in the latest Subject Tables published by The Times Good University Guide

(3 Aug 2007)

French Dept ranked 4th in the Times Good University Guide

The French Department at Durham University is ranked in 4th place in the latest Subject Tables published by The Times Good University Guide

(3 Aug 2007)

Spanish Dept ranked 5th in The Times Good University Guide

The Spanish Department at Durham University is ranked in 5th place in the latest Subject Tables published by The Times Good University Guide

(3 Aug 2007)

Latest Book Launch highlighting recent publications by members of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University

(4 Jul 2007)

Success in attracting Routes into Languages funding

Durham’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures has helped to win funding of £600K for a regional consortium of NE universities to encourage school students to continue their language studies through GCSE, A-level and on to university. The School will coordinate an extensive programme of language days, taster sessions and master classes for the three-year pilot project, offering school students from the region the chance to try out a wide range of languages and learning activities.

(12 Jun 2007)

Mrs Eva Schumacher-Reid [German Dept] receives an award for Teaching Excellence

Mrs Eva Schumacher-Reid from the German Dept is the second Senior Language Instructor in the School of Modern Languages to receive an award from Durham University for Excellence in Teaching.

(15 Mar 2007)

Italian Department to offer post A-Level Italian from October 2007

The Italian Department is delighted to be able to announce that, from October 2007, it will be running modules in post a-level Italian. This means that students achieving at least a B in A-level Italian or equivalent will be able to continue their study of Italian from Year 1 through to Year 4.

(20 Feb 2007)

Jane Taylor receives Excellence in Postgraduate Research Supervision award

Professor Jane Taylor, Professor in French, has received an award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research Supervision. In addition to postgraduate supervision, Professor Taylor is Director of the MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Principal of Collingwood College and provides teaching within the Department of French.

(26 Jun 2006)

Spanish Department 5th best in the country

Durham's Spanish Department has been rated the 5th best in the UK for Iberian Studies in the Times Good University Guide 2007.

(13 Jun 2006) » More about Times Good University Guide rating

Modern Languages and the Institute of Advanced Study

This year the University has founded a new Institute of Advanced Study, designed to foster world-class inter-disciplinary research. It begins operations in 2006-7, and Modern Languages staff are closely involved in designing and executing the first year of its programme.

(22 May 2006) » More about Institute of Advanced Studies

Professor Stefano Cracolici appointed Francesco De Dombrowski Visiting Professor

(25 Sep 2020) » More about Professor Stefano Cracolici appointed Francesco De Dombrowski Visiting Professor

Roman Catholic Art in Chile and England: a project funded by Santander Universities

CVAC has received generous support from Santander Universities to conduct series of research trips and meetings in Chile relating to the ongoing project ‘Rome in the World: Pius IX and the Foundation of Global Catholic Heritage’ (RiW), led by Dr Stefano Cracolici and Dr Giovanna Capitelli. The purpose of these visits is to compare the dissemination of 19th-century Roman Catholic repertoire in Chile and England. In Chile, the turn to Rome to decorate Catholic churches and institutions chimed with the political strategy to disenfranchise a recently independent country from its colonial bonds; in England, it served to refuel with sacred energy the restoration of the English Catholic landscape after its devastation during the early modern period. In both cases, we argue, Rome contributed to create zones of civilisational prestige for an imagined community shared globally. The possibility to conduct a comparative study supported by community-led initiatives in Chile and England would allow us to frame the investigation of a cultural heritage of local significance within a global context, and to explore new avenues for broadening our collaboration, achieving international recognition and exploring innovative forms of impact activities. 

In collaboration with our Chilean partner, Prof Fernando Guzmán Schiappacasse (Director of CEP), we intend to develop a collaborative partnership between the Centre for Visual Arts and Cultures (CVAC) at Durham University and the Centro de Estudios del Patrimonio (CEP) at the Universidad Adolpho Ibañez in Santiago and Valparaiso, with the additional involvement of the Durham Centre for Catholic Studies and Centre for the Ethics of Cultural Heritage. During our visit to Santiago, we will conduct a series of meetings with non-academic partners working in the heritage and conservation sectors, such as the Fundación Altiplano, the Centro de Conservación, Restauración y Estudios Artísticos (CREA) and Centro Nacional de Conservación y Restauración (CNCR). Further contacts will be established with crucial cultural institutions, such as the Centro de Estudiantes del Colegio San Ignacio de Alonso de Ovalle, the Centro Patrimonial Recoleta Dominica (CPRD) and the Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos (DIBAM) in Santiago. 

(12 Dec 2014) » More about Roman Catholic Art in Chile and England: a project funded by Santander Universities

Ivan Morris Prize winner - Tom Sutton (BA in Japanese Studies)

(25 Sep 2020) » More about Ivan Morris Prize winner - Tom Sutton (BA in Japanese Studies)

Abir Hamdar, Lecturer in Arabic, publishes new book with Syracuse University Press

Abir Hamdar has just had a new book published by Syracuse University Press: “The Female Suffering Body: Illness and Disability in Modern Arabic Literature” (

(15 Dec 2014)

Professor Nicholas Saul's new book

Professor Saul's latest book, entitled Gypsies and Orientalism in German Literature and Anthropology of the Long Nineteenth Century, will be published by Legenda in April 2007. An apparently nomadic diaspora nation of Indian provenance, the Gypsies are present with notable frequency in Germanic literatures from Wolzogen and Brentano to Stifter, Keller, Storm, Raabe, Jensen, Saar and Thomas Mann. Against the background of the still officially unacknowledged Romany Holocaust, Professor Saul analyses in a series of close interpretations the stations of the literary construction of the Gypsy prior to the human disaster of the holocaust.

(24 Nov 2006)

Spanish language course scholarship awarded to Durham student

Durham is one of the institutions awarded a scholarship for a free language course at a Don Quijote school in 2006.

(17 Jun 2006) » More about Don Quijote scholarship